The other major milestone was achieved earlier this week when shareholders in JSE-listed steel and construction group Aveng, which owned 46,65% of Holcim South Africa, approved the sale of the group’s holding to the consortium for R7,4-billion. The motion was passed at a general meeting on Monday morning, with 99,97% voting in favour of the sale. Nearly 80% of all Aveng shareholders, or their proxies, voted.
A source close to the deal also confirmed with Engineering News that all funding for the transaction, which was being raised offshore, was in place and that the conclusion of the deal was imminent. He dismissed suggestions that the consortium was battling to raise the necessary finance, revealing that various funding mechanisms and instruments were being used, including ones not traditionally available in the South African marketplace.
However, he noted that there were still some technical and legal processes that had to be completed and which could be affected by the impending public-sector strike. Nevertheless, he was confident the deal would be concluded either on June 1, or soon thereafter.
In August last year, Holcim AG of Switzerland announced that it would sell 85% of its majority holding in Holcim South Africa to ASC as part of a conditional R6,8-billion transaction. The proposal was that Holcim Switzerland sold 85% of its 54,35% interest in Holcim South Africa to ASC, on condition that Aveng waived its pre-emptive rights.
Following months of engagement, Aveng announced in late April that it had decided to tag its entire stake into the deal. This saw the scale of the transaction rise considerably, given a revised enterprise estimate for the business of R16,4-billion, which was based on the performance of the company in the intervening period.
On Thursday, the tribunal approved ASC’s acquisition of 85% of the entire issued share capital in Afrisam (previously Holcim South Africa) from Cemasco – Cemasco would remain with 15% shares in Afrisam with minority protection rights.
Earlier in the week, Holcim South Africa notified its customers that its new holding company, Afrisam (Pty) Ltd, had been formed, with ASC owning 85% of the shares, and the balance owned by Holcim Limited of Switzerland.
MD Karl Meissner-Roloff wrote that, as from June 1, 2007, the businesses Holcim South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Slagment (Pty) Ltd, and Holcim Silica Fume (Pty) Ltd, would trade as Afrisam South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
“We will, however, continue to use our existing branding for a period of up to 12 months,” Meissner-Roloff wrote, emphasising that all current contracts and terms would continue to apply.
“Our new company will be well-positioned in the building materials supply industry with its 85% black-controlled shareholding and its continued access to best international practice though its minority shareholder, Holcim, who will be represented on the board of Afrisam,” he concluded.