Just more than two years ago, in October 2017, Value Capital Partners (VCP) spoke out against what turned out to be a rather tentative proposal to buy 20% of cement group PPC at a price of R5.75 a share. At the time, VCP is reported to have said PPC, which was trading at about R6, was worth more than R10 a share.

The bid was from Canadian investment company Fairfax, which appeared to be involved with the AfriSam consortium. A condition of the partial offer going ahead was that PPC merged with AfriSam. The PPC share price ticked up to a high of R8 on the back of speculation of a bidding war between AfriSam and Nigeria’s Dangote group. But nothing emerged from either party, and so the PPC share price drifted slowly but steadily downward to its current R1.95...

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