Displaying items by tag: 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.
South Africa: Former PPC CEO Ketso Gordhan has met most of the major PPC shareholders in his battle to be reinstated to the top executive job, saying that he did not regret suddenly leaving the group. Gordhan shocked the market on 22 September 2014 when he resigned from PPC with immediate effect. He subsequently unsuccessfully petitioned the board to reinstate him, which spurred him on to lobbying shareholders directly to reappoint him.
"I have met with most shareholders and the issue is in their hands," said Gordhan. "Clearly, I would like to be back in my job — I would like to finish what I started." PPC said that he had 'regrettably resigned' over 'differences of opinion with the board, regarding board procedures for the approval of certain decisions.' Gordhan later said that he had lost confidence in the board for not dismissing an executive that he said was undermining company strategy. The company had only two executives, Gordhan and finance director Tryphosa Ramano.
Gordhan has canvassed the following shareholders: Public Investment Corporation (10.99%): State Street (10.86%): Lazard (6.88%): Foord (3.41%). Gordhan has not yet met PPC's black economic empowerment shareholders, including the PPC SBP Consortium Funding SPV, which holds 6.6%.
South Africa: Chamber of Mines chief executive Bheki Sibiya had been appointed interim executive chairman of PPC. "This interim appointment has been approved by the office-bearers of the Chamber of Mines and is with immediate effect and until 31 December 2014," said a Chamber of Mines statement. The chamber's chief operating officer, Roger Baxter, will serve as acting chief executive until the end of December 2014.
PPC chief executive Ketso Gordhan resigned on 22 September 2014 with immediate effect, Business Day reported. He was appointed in January 2013.
South Africa: PPC has acquired the remaining 50% stake in Gauteng Province's ready-mix concrete and fly ash-supplier, Pronto Holdings, which it did not already own. Bheki Sibiya, PPC's chairman, said that it had paid a total of US$41.9m for 100% of Pronto.
South Africa: PPC has warned that slower economic growth and falling infrastructure spending has led to a 'particularly tough' domestic market. Low single-digit volume declines across Africa's second-biggest economy were partly offset by higher sales prices in the 10 months to July 2014. South Africa's economy is forecast to grow at the slowest pace since the 2009 recession in 2014 after strikes in the platinum mining and metalworkers industries hurt output.
Meanwhile, a new plant in Rwanda is expected to be commissioned early 2015 as PPC seeks growth opportunities in other markets. Indeed, PPC is expanding in several other African countries, including Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, as demand for cement grows in sub-Saharan Africa. It is targeting 40% of sales outside South Africa by 2017, compared with 26% in the six months to March 2014.