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French construction company enters Kenya gypsum plaster market

construction

Saint-Gobain's Riverside showroom. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

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Summary

  • The Paris-based firm, which produces construction materials such as plasters for walls and ceilings, tiles and plumbing materials, said its expansion into Kenya is part of a plan to widen its footprint in Africa.
  • Saint-Gobain, however, did not disclose the financial details of the deal, and the identity of the seller of the gypsum plant.
  • Saint-Gobain has also expanded into Mauritius, after acquiring a majority stake in a.b.e. — a leading producer of technical mortars, additives and waterproofing products in the Indian Ocean country.

French construction material maker Saint-Gobain has acquired a gypsum plant in Nairobi as it eyes a piece of the construction sector.

The Paris-based firm, which produces construction materials such as plasters for walls and ceilings, tiles and plumbing materials, said its expansion into Kenya is part of a plan to widen its footprint in Africa.

“The acquisition of a gypsum plasters plant in Nairobi, Kenya, will serve the growing demand within this area, and will also allow for complementary innovative, energy-efficient solutions in the building sector including further investments in a technical mortars plant,” the company said in a statement.

This acquisition will be Saint Gobain’s first production site in Kenya, where it will also invest in a construction chemicals production line on the same site, it said.

Saint-Gobain, however, did not disclose the financial details of the deal, and the identity of the seller of the gypsum plant.

The construction sector in Kenya posted an 11.8 percent growth in value last year, buoyed by an increase in government spending on infrastructure.

The Economic Survey 2021 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that the sector’s gross domestic product stood at Sh518.5 billion in 2020, compared to Sh463.63 billion in the previous year.

Saint-Gobain has also expanded into Mauritius, after acquiring a majority stake in a.b.e. — a leading producer of technical mortars, additives and waterproofing products in the Indian Ocean country.

“These acquisitions...will strengthen the group’s presence in Africa and accelerate its growth in the region by enriching its range of solutions for light and sustainable construction,” the firm said.

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