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Companies

ARM Cement sale to take longer

ARM Cement shareholders
ARM Cement shareholders during annual general meeting. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Investors of troubled Nairobi bourse listed ARM Cement #ticker:ARM will wait a while longer to know the fate of the manufacturer, currently under administration, which is set for acquisition.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the administrators of ARM Cement, had said in early April that the sale process of the firm was underway and would be closed “in a few weeks,” signalling that it would be concluded by the end of the month.

Upon enquiry by the Business Daily George Weru, a PwC executive and one of ARM’s administrators, moved to quell mounting anxiety among investors on the fate of the company.

“There is no delay,” said Mr Weru. “This is a complex transaction involving various companies in multiple jurisdictions and many stakeholders as well so the current engagement with the bidders and consultations with stakeholders is not unusual.”

He added that firms seeking to acquire ARM Cement had submitted their final bids and PwC will announce the winning offer ‘soon’.

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“We are in the process of evaluating a number of binding offers which involves engagement with the bidders. We aim to conclude this process in the next few weeks,” he said.

Investors are keenly eyeing the sale process of the firm, which collapsed under a heavy debt load.

Huge losses

It remains to be seen if ARM’s shareholders, who suffered large losses from the company’s stock rout, will get any cash in the buyout.

ARM shares remain suspended until mid-August. A bid for the whole company will give the successful acquirer an instant presence in the local and regional cement market, with a need to spend more than Sh2 billion to upgrade the company’s factories.

It emerged last year that Nigeria’s Dangote Cement, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, was among bidders of the troubled firm. The buyout would offer a bargain and smooth entry for Dangote into the Kenyan market.

ARM operations in Kenya include a clinker and cement grinding plants in Kaloleni and Athi River.

It also makes, imports and sells cement in Rwanda through its subsidiary Kigali Cement Company.

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