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The stage is set for a bidding war for SA’s largest cement producer PPC, which has received a nonbinding expression of interest from global cement group LafargeHolcim to add to the Afrisam-Fairfax Africa partial offer for PPC’s assets. An offer from LafargeHolcim, which already has a strong presence in SA and the rest of Africa, could raise significant competition issues as a merger would give the combined company almost half of SA’s cement market. However, the shape of a potential deal is far from clear at this stage, with Swiss-based LafargeHolcim announcing on Friday that it would submit a firm intention offer only in the week of November 20, following a due diligence of PPC. It contemplated a combination of certain African assets, a partial cash offer and a special dividend, it said on Friday. LafargeHolcim came into being in 2015 after the $50bn merger of two of the world’s major cement groups, France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim. It employs about 90,000 people in more th...

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