Lafarge to sell South Africa subsidiary for $316.3m… redeems N26.4bn bond

Lafarge Africa Plc has announced the proposed sale of 100 per cent of the issued share capital in Lafarge South Africa Holdings Limited to Caricement B.V, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim.

The firm said in a statement that LafargeHolcim agreed to purchase the shares for the consideration being a set-off of all the outstanding amounts due by the company to Caricement under the Inter-Group Loan Agreements at the closing date, which is July 31, 2019.

It said the value of the consideration at the closing date was $316.3m, being the sum total of the principal sum of $293m plus all accrued interest of $23.3m as of July 31, 2019.

The statement read in part, “As part of the audit exercise with respect to the 2018 accounts, KPMG Professional Services, as auditors of the company, informed the company’s management that based upon its assessment of the 2018 performance of LSAH, the valuation would have to be impaired to a tune of N70bn.

“The board, acting within its regulatory duties, delayed the approval of the 2018 accounts while seeking the optimal resolution of this significant issue, which had a potential major impact on shareholders’ value in the company.

“During deliberations by the board on this matter, various options were considered including exit from South Africa. The board then arrived at the conclusion that the disposal of LSAH was the best option for halting the potential impairment.”

Lafarge said the proposed sale was expected to enhance the value of shareholders’ investments, which was of utmost importance to the board.

It said following the conclusion of the proposed sale, its shareholder loan of $293m would be completely extinguished.

The company also announced the redemption of its three-year fixed rate series 1 N26.4bn bond, which matured on June 15, 2019.

Another statement on Wednesday said the company had registered a N100bn bond issuance in June 2016, out of which the sum of N60bn was issued in series 1 and 2 of the programme.

It said the matured series 1 bond was issued on June 10, 2016 with a three-year tenor and at a fixed coupon of 14.25 per cent.

The statement read in part, “The company, leveraging its performance, recently concluded its rights issue as well as a strategic management plan to systemically deleverage the company by redeeming the series 1 bond from internally generated cashflow.

“The outstanding balance of N33.6bn represents series 2 of the N100bn issuance programme at a fixed coupon rate of 14.75 per cent; a five-year tenor and matures for redemption in June 2021.”


Punch: June 20, 2019