Buyanga still in the Lafarge mix?

HARARE - Flamboyant businessman Frank Buyanga is pressing ahead with his interest for a 40 percent stake in Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe (Lafarge) amid indications that the local company’s major shareholder had requested further information from the potential suitor.

This also comes as the Hamilton Capital (Hamilton) boss and founder had first expressed his interest in buying into the Switzerland-based group’s Zimbabwean unit in April — through a letter addressed to chief executive Amal Tantawi.

“We want to know how much of an effect (the deal will) have on Lafarge in terms of the empowerment laws of Zimbabwe. Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is a publicly listed company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and shares are traded in line with listing requirements,” a representative of Lafarge-Holcim told South Africa’s New Age newspaper this week.

“As a result, any parties interested in purchasing a stake have to follow the necessary processes in order to acquire equity in the business. This position applies to any interested parties,” it said.

Lafarge is one of the major cement companies in southern Africa specialising in manufacturing cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregate products.

While the paper reported that Buyanga had proposed to fashion out the acquisition through African Cell — a subsidiary of South African-based Hamilton —it also said that its reading was that there were “no concrete talks between the parties” and a deal was still miles away.

But according to the controversial businessman’ letter to Tantawi on April 25, his company was interested in “purchasing . . . a major stake in Lafarge”.

With the cement producer listed on the ZSE, its European headquarters said this week that it had not received a firm offer from Buyanga despite the existence of the letter, which was received by its local office.

But the 36-year-old businessman insists that he wants to buy into Lafarge and had already met with senior executives.

“I am looking to buy a significant stake in the business. I do not have the valuations at hand, but my budget is not limited. We have to buy (the shares) at the right market value.  “The foreign company on the list own 76 percent. That is what I am eyeing,” Buyanga said recently.

A self-styled property developer and financier, the high-rolling businessman has an impressive portfolio spanning the hospitality, funeral assurance, mining and construction sectors and to date, the Johannesburg-based millionaire has also recently taken up empowerment advocacy a gear up, with requests to the Zimbabwean authorities to ease the laws of doing business.

Lately, Buyanga has asked the Harare administration to act on errant behaviour within and outside state-owned enterprises, especially to rid them of corruption. 

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.