Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

30 May 2012

Tanzania: Tanga Cement Plant for Expansion

Arusha — The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) plans an ambitious project in a quest to expand the Tanga Cement factory plant in Tanzania, doubling its production capacity.

This was revealed by Mr Elias Masisela, the Chief Executive Officer of PIC, during the ongoing series of African Development Bank (AfDB) meetings in Arusha. PIC, which is a public asset management firm, wholly owned by the South African government, also happens to own stakes in the Tanga Cement Company (TCC) Factory, which trades as Simba Cement.

Tanga Cement Company's annual production capacity currently stands at 1.2 million metric tonnes, a figure which is expected to double after the expansion. The Ecobank Transnational and the Public Investment Corporation have meanwhile signed in Arusha, a subscription Agreement through which PIC, on behalf of the Government. Employees Pension Fund of South Africa will invest 400bn/- in the common equity scheme.

The Investment, according to Mr Masisela, is their first major direct investment in Africa, outside South Africa and is in line with the GEPF investment strategy that has identified Africa as the next frontier for investment growth.

The signing occasion took place at "Snow Crest Hotel" in Arusha, on Monday involving the South African Deputy Minister of Finance and Chairman of PIC Nhlanhla Musa Nene, Mr Masisela, who initiated the document and the Group Chief Executive of Ecobank, Mr Anorld Ekpe who signed for Ecobank.

The signing of the investment agreement is part of the ongoing events at the annual African Development Bank's conference which has been taking place for the whole week here and was witnessed by the AfDB President Dr Donald Kaberuka.

"With the Government Employees Pension Fund as shareholder, Ecobank will now have a slate of highly reputable local, regional and international shareholders and our equity capital raising programme is coming to an end.

"Our unparalleled presence across sub-Saharan Africa and our knowledge of local markets will also facilitate GEPF's investment plans for the continent," said Mr Ekpe. The transaction will reportedly bolster Ecobank's tier one capital and further enhance its ability to grow its business across the African continent.

The equivalent of US $250 million share purchase will be made effective by the issuance of 3, 125 million shares in Ecobank representing nearly 20 per cent of the total outstanding number of shares.

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