Lafarge Africa woos investors to Ashaka Cement’s offer
Lafarge Africa Plc have urged shareholders to leverage the Ashaka Cement’s voluntary tender offer, which provides opportunity for the minorities to participate in a much larger growth platform of Lafarge Africa to boost their portfolio.
Speaking at a shareholders forum in Lagos recently, Chairman, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mobolaji Balogun explained that the offer, which is currently on-going to Friday July 1, 2016, would enable the shareholders to move from being investors in Ashaka Cement with 1metric tones per annum (mtpa) cement production capacity to Lafarge Africa with 12mtpa and an additional 2,5mtpa due for commissioning by the end of 2016.
He added that the consideration offered for the tender is quite favorable to shareholders of Ashaka Cement.
“I encourage you and your members to accept the tender, which in simple terms creates the immediate and direct advantage of moving from investors in Ashaka Cement with 1mtpa cement production capacity to Lafarge Africa with 12mtpa and an additional 2,5mtpa due for commissioning by the end of 2016.
“We continued to build on the successful completion of the Lafarge Africa asset consolidation transaction through some strategic initiatives, including increasing our shareholding in Ashaka cement to 82.46 per cent via a mandatory tender offer and acquisition of further stake in Unicem.
On the recently concluded N60 billion dual series bond issuance, Balogun told shareholders that the issue comprises of a N26, 386,000,000 three year 14.25 per cent bond due 2019 (“the Series one bond”) and a N33, 614,000,000 five year 14.75 per cent bond due 2021 (“the series II bond”).
According to him, the proceeds of the bond issue will be used to part-refinance the debt of its wholly owned subsidiary, United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (“Unicem”).
He pointed out that the dual-series issuance, the first of its kind and largest bond issuance by a corporate in Nigeria’s debt capital markets, was concluded, following a book build, with the order being oversubscribed.
He added that the transaction was Lafarge Africa’s second bond issuance in the Nigerian capital markets, having previously issued a N11.8 billion three year fixed rate bond in 2011.
Balogun said the bond affirms Lafarge Africa’s reputation as a prime issuer, adding that the proceeds of the issue would allow Lafarge Africa Plc part-refinance the debt of its wholly owned subsidiary, Unicem.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from domestic institutional investors, especially the Nigerian pension funds. We also wish to thank the SEC for its support on the completion of the transaction.”
“These proceeds will deliver savings in financing costs to Unicem and Lafarge Africa. Unicem is currently undergoing a 2.5mtpa capacity expansion which will be completed by the end of 2016.”