The market reacted with some relief to news that building supplies and mining business Afrimat walked away from a takeover deal of Universal Coal.

Although it’s difficult to fault Afrimat’s acquisition strategy since listing 12 years ago, Universal would have been by far its biggest deal at a value of more than R2bn. The fact that Afrimat would have to pursue a sizeable rights offer or incur substantial borrowings to fund such a transaction was weighing on sentiment...

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