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South African cement maker rebuffs offer from LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim Ltd said it has ended negotiations over the potential merger of its African assets with those of South African cement maker PPC Ltd.

The nonbinding proposal, announced in late October, involved a partial cash bid and a special dividend to PPC shareholders. Had the South African company agreed, LafargeHolcim would have combined its East African assets with PPC's operations in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe, Business Day reported.

PPC said it will now prioritize the development of its existing investment pipeline elsewhere on the continent, pursuing a "mega plant" strategy in South Africa and further improve competitiveness.

LafargeHolcim also outlined a restructuring aimed at creating a "more market-focused and agile management organization." Its two global business functions, namely, Performance & Cost and Growth & Innovation, will be merged to form a Growth & Performance division to be headed by Urs Bleisch. In addition, the company announced leadership changes at its European and North American segments.