Despite the rejection by the Namibian Competition Commission (NACC) of the proposed acquisition of Schwenk Namibia, which owns the majority shares in Ohorongo Cement, by West China Cement, Schwenk International in Germany has confirmed further interest to sell its Namibian subsidiary SCHWENK Namibia (PTY) Ltd.
Schwenk Namibia owns about 70% of the shares of Ohorongo Cement, which has been described as the first fully integrated cement producer in Namibia. Other shareholders of the cement plant are South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
Schwenk International’s strategy is to concentrate on the core business of cement, concrete and aggregates in Europe and therefore the company decided to maintain its decision to divest its Namibian assets and therefore to sell Schwenk Namibia to interested parties.
The sale, however, requires the new owners to have the financial capabilities to make the acquisition and further develop the business; to have a deep understanding and expertise in the cement business; and to have a keen interest to further develop “growth at home”.
“It is important to note that the search for a potential buyer included Namibian institutions, asset managers and other interested parties, however, none could be identified that could fulfil the above three requirements. Regardless of when a suitable buyer will be found and as in the past, it will remain the objective to continue to optimise the operations in Namibia in order to remain competitive and reliable in the Namibian market,” said the CEO of the Schwenk Building Materials Group, Thomas Spannagl, in a statement.
Spannagl further noted that after the commissioning of the Ohorongo Cement Plant during December 2010, initiated by Schwenk in 2007, the business has successfully grown ever since.
“Schwenk has fulfilled and completed its development objectives by constructing a fully-fledged modern cement factory including the transfer of expertise to a workforce of Namibians. Further, this development included the promotion of SME suppliers and the establishment of an innovative industry (e.g. alternative energy), contributing to the national development goals such as “growth at home”,” Spannagl concluded.