East African Portland Cement will invest close to Sh150m in a deal that will that will lead to Kenya’s second biggest cement maker buying 49 per cent shares in Kigali Cement Company.
The deal, which was negotiated late last week, represents the largest single investment by a state-owned firm acquiring a foreign company.
According to Portland’s managing director Zakayo Ole Mapelu, the deal is expected to give EAPC a foothold from which to target the fast expanding regional cement market as countries like Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) embark on huge infrastructure projects to reconstruct their economies.
"This deal is strategic for us," said Mr Ole Mapelu, "We are establishing a presence in the market for long term growth. It makes sense for us to partner with a reputable existing player than chasing this market from Nairobi. Whoever gets a foothold in Kigali will be able to access DRC easily."