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Oman Company Raysut Expresses Interest In Cash Strapped ARM

Oman-based cement manufacturer Raysut Cement Co has expressed an interest in acquiring Athi River Mining (ARM) Cement Ltd.

This comes a month after Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote expressed interest on the same company.

Raysut plans to use Ksh10 billion to acquire the cash strapped company, a move that ARM is yet to comment on.

“The acquisition will complement Raysut’s revised strategy to manufacture clinker in proximity to the markets it supplies to in East Africa,” read Raysut’s statement in part.

ARM Cement’s administrators are seeking funds to reduce the company’s debts of $140 million (Ksh14 billion) by selling some of its subsidiaries and strategic investment.

Among the financial institutions owed by ARM include Africa Finance Corp and Standard Bank Group Ltd’s Stanbic Bank Kenya Ltd.

ARM has been placed under administration following a series of loss making years, with this year’s loss escalating to Ksh6.5 billion.

Read: Nigerian Billionaire Aliko Dangote Set To Take Over Ailing ARM

ARM has also been suspended from trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange following the placement under administration.

The Oman cement manufacture intents to construct a one million tons per year cement plant in Somalia as well as acquisition of various cement producers in Uganda and Djibouti.

Among the Ugandan cement companies Raysut aims to buy is Kampala Cement Co.

Recently, Raysut announced plans to invest about $700 million (approximately Ksh70 billion) in India by 2022, of which $200 million (Ksh20 billion) has been earmarked to acquire majority stakes in two Indian cement producers, one of them in Chhattisgarh and the other in Gujarat’s coastal region, within the first quarter of 2019.

“We are looking to becoming a global company by way of expansion, and moving with a major focus on East and Central Africa and Georgia,” said  Raysut Cement Chief Executive Officer Joey Ghose as quoted by India’s BusinessLine publication.

Raysut currently supplies clinker in the region, a nodular material produced in the kilning stage during the production of cement and is used as the binder in many cement products.

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