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The naysayers are starting to crawl out of the woodwork over a proposed pan-African merger between AfriSam, Fairfax Africa Investments and PPC. Those publicly opposed to the deal now hold at least 25% of SA’s largest cement group. SA’s state pension fund manager, the Public Investment Corporation, holds about 66% of unlisted AfriSam and a major stake of about 15% in PPC. It is said to back the AfriSam-Fairfax offer. But little is clear about the outcome. Fairfax’s offer to buy R2bn of PPC ordinary shares at R5.75 a share is light years away from other valuations. These range from R8 to R10 a share. The ball started rolling in early October 2017, when Prudential Investment Managers — holding about 14% of PPC — said the AfriSam-Fairfax conditional partial offer undervalued the group. Visio Capital Management, which holds 7% of PPC, is the latest to come out against the bid. It worries that potential competition issues will take up to 12 months to be flagged, let alone remedied. This c...

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