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Cement maker PPC has hired Investec to review an offer by Fairfax Financial Holdings and said other interested bidders should be granted enough time to conduct full due diligence.

The company said that Investec had been appointed to consider the partial offer by Toronto-based Fairfax and the planned merger with local rival AfriSam Group.

It said the review was likely to take “some time”. Other bidders, including Nigerian competitor Dangote Cement will be granted a “reasonable period” to decide whether to table firm offers. 

The announcement extends indefinitely the protracted battle for PPC, which has been seeking partners to strengthen the balance sheet and support an expansion across Africa. 

Merger talks with AfriSam started in February, with Fairfax joining those negotiations last month. The Takeover Regulation Panel has granted Fairfax an extension until November to distribute its offer to shareholders, PPC said, allowing Investec more time to complete its report into the proposal. 

PPC shares rose 0.5percent to R6.35 in early trade on the JSE, valuing the company at R10billion. Dangote, controlled by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, has submitted an indicative proposal for PPC. 

- BLOOMBERG