Lafarge Zambia reverts to Chilanga Cement Plc

LAFARGE Zambia Plc has announced the appointment of its new director of the board and chief executive officer, Chai Jianping, following its share sale and purchase agreement with Huaxin (Hainan) Investment Co. Limited.

Lafarge Zambia is set to change its name and revert to ‘Chilanga Cement Plc’ following a share sale and purchase agreement signed and executed with Huaxin (Hainan) Investment Co. Limited, the Chinese cement manufacturer, who will now hold a controlling majority stake.

On June 11, 2021, Lafarge Zambia Plc announced that Huaxin (Hainan) Investment Co. Limited had entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with Pan African Cement Limited and Financier Lafarge SAS, in respect of the sale and purchase of their 50.1 per cent and 24.9 per cent, respectively, of the issued share capital of Lafarge Zambia Plc.

And in a further cautionary announcement on November 10, 2021, shareholders were advised that all the relevant approvals had been obtained and the conclusion of the transaction was now underway in line with regulatory requirements.

In a notice announcing a change in directorate recently, Lafarge’s board announced the appointment of Chai Jianping as a new director of the board and its chief executive officer of Lafarge Zambia Plc effective November 29, 2021, following the resignation of Jashmed Jahangir Khan, the outgoing chief, effective November 26, 2021.

“…Mr Chai brings over 35 years’ experience in the cement industry to Lafarge Zambia Plc. He has a Bachelor Degree in Inorganic Non-metallic Materials from Wuhan University of Technology and a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He joined Huaxin Cement Co. Ltd in July 1987 and has held various roles over the years ranging from manufacturing roles, plant managerial roles, directorate roles and management of overseas businesses,” read the statement issued by company secretary, Chibuye Ngulube. “The board looks forward to Mr Chai’s vast contributions to the company in his capacity as director on the board of directors and country chief executive officer and wishes him well.”

Pursuant to section 3.59 of the LuSE Listing Requirements, the board of directors of Lafarge Zambia Plc announced the resignation of three board directors including Ahmed Hosny Fathallah Khalifa, Jashmed Jahangir Khan and John William Stull, effective November 26, 2021.

This followed Huaxin (Hainan) Investment Co. Limited’s takeover of the cement manufacturer.

Founded in 1907, Huaxin Cement today has a cement production capacity of 115 million tonnes per year, aggregate production capacity of 55 million tonnes per year and a ready-mix concrete capacity of up to 27 million cubic meters per year.

Huaxin Cement is ranked in China’s top 500 manufacturing companies and is also listed as a Fortune China 500 company.

This share sale by Lafarge Holcim marks the end of a historic 20-year business presence in Zambia.

In May 2001, Lafarge acquired Pan African Cement (PAC), which became the holding company of Chilanga Cement in Zambia, from the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) as well as a further 34 per cent of Chilanga Cement through a compulsory offer to minorities.

The minority shareholders were well dispersed with over 3,000 shareholders.

In 2007, Chilanga Cement changed its name to Lafarge Cement Zambia Plc, thereby fully aligning the company with the international Lafarge Group aimed at “building better cities.”

And in 2015, following the historic global merger, Lafarge Zambia Plc became a member of LafargeHolcim Group, a global leader in building materials and solutions.

Since then, the company has continued to grow as the leader in the local construction industry as well as in the region, but has faced stiff competition from Nigerian cement company, Dangote Cement Zambia Plc, which established its plant in Ndola back in 2015.

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