PPC appointed former deputy finance minister Jabu Moleketi as board chairman effective Friday, the cement producer said Photo: Leon Nicholas
JOHANNESBURG - There has been a new shake-up of the board of listed cement and lime producer PPC as it emerged the company does not intend to obtain shareholder approval for its proposed new broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) transaction.

Reaction to the announcement of the shake-up resulted in PPC shares rising by 0.48percent on Friday to close at R8.30.

The company reported on Friday that chairperson Peter Nelson had resigned together with non executive directors Sydney Mhlarhi and Dawn Earp with immediate effect.

Jabu Moleketi, a former deputy finance minister and former chairperson of the Public Investment Corporation, has replaced Nelson as chairperson with immediate effect.

Moleketi is non-executive chairperson of Brait, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Vodacom and Harith General Partners.

Noluvuyo Mkhondo, an investment banking and corporate finance professional who has spent time at Goldman Sachs International and Anglo American in the UK, and Antony Ball, the co-founder of Value Capital Partners and founder of prominent private equity business Brait, were also appointed non executive directors with immediate effect.

The resignation of Nelson follows earlier reports that Prudential Investment Managers South Africa, one of PPC’s largest shareholders, had sent a formal request to PPC demanding Nelson’s removal.

PPC said on Friday that Nelson had successfully led the company through a period of headwinds and achieved a number of significant milestones since his appointment in January 2015, most notable of which was his role during the refinancing of the business following its liquidity problems.

Responding to a request for comment on whether Nelson’s resignation resulted from the reported demand by Prudential, PPC group manager corporate affairs Siobhan McCarthy said PPC recognised the value shareholders and analysts brought to the table and welcomed the interest they continued to demonstrate in the successful running of the company.

“PPC interacts with the investor community regularly, mostly recently these engagements, with Prudential among others, addressed the composition of the board as well as the Sens (Stock Exchange News Service) announcement of December 14, 2017, outlining PPC’s proposed new BEE transaction,” she said.

Shares in PPC plunged by more than 7percent in January 2016 when PPC reported that then chairperson Bheki Sibiya was standing down without anyone to replace him, despite Sibiya indicating in 2014 that he intended to step down.

Following the resignation of then chief executive Ketso Gordhan and the board’s refusal of a request from Gordhan to be reinstated, disgruntled shareholders led by Foord Asset Management and supported by Visio Capital Management and Nedbank Private Wealth, submitting a request to PPC’s board to call a general meeting about the proposed removal of the then board.

This request was withdrawn in December 2014.