Displaying items by tag: PPC
South Africa: PPC, South Africa's largest lime and cement maker has said that AfriSam, its competitor, has proposed a merger between the two companies. AfriSam's proposal was conditional and non-binding and prompted PPC's shares to surge on 10 December 2014. This was reported by local media as a sign that the market likes the idea of the merger.
PPC said that its board of directors was currently considering the proposal and would make a further announcement in due course once it has concluded its consideration of the proposal. The firm has been in a state of flux in 2014 due to protracted boardroom wrangling.
South Africa: PPC will reshuffle its board due to shareholder pressure. However, it will not reinstate its former chief executive Ketso Gordhan. In a statement, it said that four of its current directors will step down and be replaced by six new ones, expanding the number of directors to 12, according to Reuters.
Shareholders in PPC were due to vote to remove the board in a resolution put forward by three minority shareholders, who had also backed Gordhan as a director. However, the shareholders have agreed to withdraw that demand in favour of the reshuffling plan. Gordhan was not among the latest set of candidates for new board positions.
PPC shareholders and investors were advised against removing the board to support a return by Gordhan by global shareholder voting research firm Glass Lewis & Company. The US firm told clients in a report that while Gordhan seemed qualified to implement PPC's expansion strategy, he had displayed 'erratic and volatile' behaviour and the company's board had been reasonable in accepting his resignation in September 2014.
South Africa: PPC has concluded an agreement to source waste tyres from the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) for use at its De Hoek cement plant in Piketburg, Westerm Cape. PPC is also investigating the possibility of using waste tyres in some of its other plants, according to Azola Lowan, the executive for investor relations and strategy.
Redisa is the only waste tyre management plan approved by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and is involved in the collection and processing of waste tyres. Lowan said that the use of the waste tyres in the kilns at the De Hoek plant would be introduced from the middle of 2015 and indications were that the tyres could replace 10% of its coal usage. Lowan also confirmed there was a cost benefit from using the waste tyres instead of coal and a carbon advantage because of the reduced use of coal. Some investment was required in the feeder system to use waste tyres, which meant this initiative would only generate a return over a few years.
Lowan stressed this was one of several environmental and alternative energy initiatives being undertaken by PPC to ensure that PPC is compliant with environmental legislation and regulations by 2020. PPC has already commissioned the use of carbonaceous spent pot liner, a waste material from the aluminium industry, at its Dwaalboom cement plant in Limpopo. "We basically get paid to use that product and again it replaces about 5% of the coal," Lowan said. She added that PPC was also doing a feasibility study on a waste heat recovery (WHR) system at its Dwaalboom plant. PPC also has an agreement with Innowind, which is constructing a 60MW wind farm in the Eastern Cape to provide electricity to PPC's Grassridge quarry.
South Africa: PPC has announced that its full-year profit declined by 9% as its Africa expansion plan failed to offset declining sales in the domestic market. Net income was US$76.7m in the year through November 2014, compared with US$84.1m a year earlier. Sales grew by 9% year-on-year to US$8.13bn. Cement sales volumes grew by 2% year-on-year. "Performance was hampered by industrial action on the platinum belt, which had an adverse impact on trading conditions in South Africa," said PPC.
South Africa: PPC has compiled a shortlist of six candidates to succeed Ketso Gordhan as CEO and will make an appointment after a shareholders' meeting in December 2014, according to chairman Bheki Sibiya.
"We have 85 candidates, of whom six are the cream of the crop," said Sibiya. "We are looking at a person who is going to buy into the board's strategy. We are not looking at anybody who is going to change it."
South Africa: The board of PCC has accused former CEO Ketso Gordhan of defamation and published the circumstances behind his resignation, according to local media.
Initially the board of PPC stated that Gordhan had resigned due to 'a difference of opinion' regarding board procedures. However, Gordhan later said that he had lost confidence in the board for not dismissing an executive who was 'undermining company strategy.' PPC had only two executives at the time, Gordhan and CFO Tryphosa Ramano.
PPC said the reasons Gordhan had given for wanting to fire CFO Ramano included that she 'had a bigger office than him' and had requested a reserved parking spot. Ramano had also refused to participate in a voluntary salary sacrifice scheme aimed at raising the wages of lower-level workers and was 'interrogating a loan agreement' which Gordhan had verbally agreed to with a potential funder. The board said that Ramano had ill-treated an employee whom Gordhan had employed.
The board was of the view that the reasons advanced by Gordhan were not substantive and did not warrant the termination of the CFO. Additionally, PPC said that Gordhan had resigned twice in his 20-month stint as CEO.
According to Gordhan PPC's statement is, "Making a complete mockery of the substantial reasons I presented to the board and shows the board's inability to actually deal with the relevant matters impacting the business and shareholder value."
Ethiopia: South African cement producer PPC has acquired Industrial Development Corporation's 20% stake in Ethiopian-based Habesha Cement for a purchase consideration of US$13m. PPC's initial 27% stake in Habesha, acquired in July 2012, now rises to 51%, while the balance of the shareholding in Habesha is held by around 16,000 local shareholders.
"We are very excited about our increased investment in Ethiopia; a country with a population of 91 million people that is set to reach 100 million by 2018 and having a growth rate that is expected to remain above 8% in the medium term," said Bheki Sibiya, Executive Chairman of PPC.
Habesha has begun the construction of a 1.4Mt/yr cement plant 35 km north-west of Addis Ababa. The project has cost approximately US$135m and commissioning is planned for 2016. In addition to the Habesha project, PPC has started building projects in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
Financial closure of this acquisition is expected in December 2014 once all conditions have been satisfied.
South Africa: On 23 October 2014 PPC confirmed the resignation of Richard Tomes, joint managing director of PPC's South African business and one of the business's key sales and marketing personnel.
The resignation of Tomes comes a month after Ketso Gordhan resigned as CEO and the company's board subsequently plunged into a tussle with group shareholders seeking a new board. PPC said that Tomes, who joined the firm in 1998 and who shared the job as head of domestic operations with Johann Claassen, had resigned effective Thursday to 'pursue other opportunities.'
With his departure, Claassen will lead PPC's South African cement business, while Pepe Meijer remains managing director of PPC's international business. While PPC has lost an experienced managing director in Tomes, it sought to assure investors that its South African business remained under strong leadership: "Johan is a professional engineer who joined PPC in 1989 and has served as executive of cement operations and of lime," said PPC. "He has also held various other senior and general management roles across the cement and lime divisions."
South Africa: PPC's lawyers have moved to silence the company's former CEO, Ketso Gordhan, to stop him making 'offensive statements' about PPC and have threatened to make Gordhan pay with a possible damages claim. Gordhan has been locked in a battle with the PPC board to regain his job and has been at the centre of a shareholder revolt that could see the entire board removed.
PPC's attorneys told Gordhan that the company had been faithful to the terms of Gordhan's departure and had 'refrained from divulging the true reasons behind his resignation' which, if revealed, would be 'extremely embarrassing and detrimental to his career.' The lawyers demanded that Gordhan respond within a day to confirm that he would desist from making such further statements. Tshisevhe Gwina Ratshimbilani Incorporated (TGR Attorneys), on behalf of PPC, said that Gordhan's resignation agreement, which was signed five weeks ago, required him to stick to the company's internal brief and public announcement regarding the reasons for his resignation.
South Africa: PPC is in discussions with the joint managing director of its South African business, Richard Tomes, who is considering resigning from the company, according to anonymous sources. Tomes and Johan Claassen are in charge of PPC's core South African business in the face of growing competition and a slowing economy, while the company embarks on an ambitious expansion strategy in Africa.
Tomes' possible resignation comes amid a shareholder plan to replace the PPC board, which a month ago accepted the resignation of CEO Ketso Gordhan. Tomes has put forward a resignation but he and the company are still discussing the decision.
Foord Asset Management said that it and Visio Capital Management jointly held the required 10% of PPC shares to call for a special shareholders meeting to vote on replacing the PPC board, which it felt lacked cement industry experience. With recommendations from other investors, the activist shareholders have compiled a list of candidates for a new board, which included Gordhan as well as four existing PPC board members, partly in the interests of continuity. However, PPC said that the four members would not be available for re-election to a new board.
Corporate governance expert Mervyn King said that, "Shareholders of 10% or more are entitled to call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) and can ask for the removal of the entire board." However, King warned that this could result in 'very poor governance' due to a lack of continuity of knowledge on the new board.
Since Gordhan's resignation PPC has added to the rest-of-Africa experience on its board. The company has appointed experienced mining executive Darryll Castle as an independent non-executive director. "Darryll's extensive experience and knowledge of various countries in Africa and emerging markets, as well as the deep relationships that he has built over the years, will add great value to PPC," said Sibiya.