CRH walks away from PPC bid

Jilted PPC slides in morning trade

Building materials multination, CRH, has withdrawn its interest in South African cement maker, PPC.

PPC, which last month would not disclose the value of the non-binding expression of interest from CRH, said that it had received confirmation on December 4 that CRH would not be pursuing the deal.

Fairfax has set a R2bn limit to the number of shares it is willing to buy, and has made it a condition that PPC merge with AfriSam.

CRH said in August it had around 5 billion euros ($5.90 billion) in cash to spend on M&A over the next 18-24 months.

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According to Davy analysts, CRH's strategic priority remains its end-markets in Europe and North America so a deal for PPC was always a low probability.

PPC, which has been a target for industry consolidation for several years, said it was still talking to Switzerland's LafargeHolcim.

CRH becomes the second company to withdraw its interest in PPC, after Nigeria-based Dangote Cement walked away in September.

PPC's share price fell 3.5% to R6.65 on Thursday morning after it informed shareholders it had been jilted on Monday by one of its three suitors, Dublin-based CRH.

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