Kenya/Tanzania: The administrators of ARM Cement have written off loans worth around US$210m to Maweni Limestone, a subsidiary in Tanzania. The decision by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) administrators has significantly reduced the cement producer’s assets to US$140m from US$362m, according to the Business Daily newspaper. In a report PWC alleges that ARM Cement had treated its debt to Maweni Limestone as a performing loan, despite the fact that the subsidiary had repeatedly defaulted on it, effectively misleading investors as to the value of the company. The write-off has left ARM Cement’s creditors, including the UK government-backed CDC Group, in negative equity to a value of around US$24m.
Other irregularities that have been discovered amount to US$1.5m. These issues include alleged outstanding director pay, payments to mystery customers and a payment of US$0.4m for ‘fixtures and fittings.’
ARM Cement owns an integrated cement plant at Tanga and a grinding plant in Dar es Salaam that is currently not in operation. It is also building a grinding plant in Tanga that remains unfinished. The cement producer was placed into administration in late August 2018.