Africa’s richest person Aliko Dangote joined the race to buy South Africa’s biggest cement producer in September. PPC is already the subject of an all-share merger bid by local rival AfriSam that values it at $700 million.
“Shareholders are advised that, on October 5 2017, the board received from Dangote a formal withdrawal of its interest in respect of the Proposed Combination,” PPC said in a statement.
PPC gave no reason for the move and the Nigerian firm was not immediately available for comment.
Shares in PPC fell 13.64% after the announcement, before recovering some ground to trade 4.34% lower at R6.17. The price was still above AfriSam’s R5.75 offer price.
The interest from Dangote Cement, with a market capitalisation of $12 billion, had raised hopes of a bidding war and pushed PPC’s share price above AfriSam’s offer price.
“The general feeling was that Dangote would provide some sort of stability as well as capital going forward,” Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods said.