December 7, 2017 / 7:32 AM / 2 years ago

Ireland's CRH withdraws from bidding for South African cement maker PPC

(Reuters) - Irish cement producer CRH, the world’s third-largest building materials supplier by market value, had decided not to bid for rival PPC the South African company said on Thursday.

Last month, CRH made an undisclosed cash bid for PPC and had been given time for due diligence and to submit an updated bid.

“CRH has decided not to submit an updated expression of interest and therefore considers it appropriate to withdraw from the Independent Board’s process,” PPC said in a statement.

PPC last month turned its back on a takeover attempt by AfriSam [AFRSMV.UL], backed by Canada’s Fairfax Africa. However, regulations allow Fairfax until Dec. 12 to post its partial offer circular.

PCC, which has been a consolidation target on-and-off for several years, said it was still talking to Swiss company LafargeHolcim.

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. It has committed 3 billion euros of that to buying Ash Grove Cement Co.

Dublin-based CRH did not respond to a request for immediate comment.

Shares in PPC, which has a market capitalisation of 11.02 billion rand ($812 million) and had net debt of 4.4 billion rand at the end of September, were down 4.21 percent at 6.60 rand by 0755 GMT. CRH’s stock was up 1 percent at 39.60 euros.

PPC last month reported a 36 percent rise in half-year earnings, helped by robust performance in Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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