Angolan government buys Cimpor’s 49 percent share in Cimangola

9 October 2006

Luanda, Angola, 09 Oct – The Angolan government Friday bought the 49 percent share Portuguese cement company Cimpor owned in Angolan cement firm Cimangola, bringing an end to litigation made public at the beginning of the year, which also involved two Norwegian companies, officials said.

With this acquisition, the Angolan state now owns 89 percent of Nova Cimangola, which is the country’s largest cement factory.

The unit, located on the outskirts of Luanda, currently has a production capacity of around 1.3 million tons of cement per year.

The signing of this agreement brings an end to a dispute between the Portuguese cement company and the Angolan government, which began after the authorities accused Cimpor of infringing the law and market rules in the acquisition of 49 percent of the capital fo Nova Cimangola.

In a statement published February 6, the Angolan government said that Cimpor’s acquisition should be null and void, adding that the State could exercise its right to acquire the Nova Cimangola shares held by the Portuguese company.

The Angolan government also accused the companies that sold the 49-percent stake in Nova Cimangola to Cimpor of not having complied with a preference rights agreement that the State had in relation to the shares.

The deal goes back to October 2004, when Norway’s Scancem transferred the shares it owned in Nova Cimangola to Scanang, a company which, in November 2004, was acquired by Cimpor.

With this deal, the Portuguese cement company took over ownership of 49 percent of Nova Cimangola.

From the Angolan authorities’ point of view, the transfer of shares between Scancem and Scanang was illegal as it did not receive prior authorization from the government, but also because Nova Cimangola was not previously notified so that it could exercise its preference agreement.

The Angolan national private investment agency, ANIP, representing the Angolan state, took the deal between Scancem and Scanang to court.

The Angolan government also accused the three companies involved of acting in bad faith due to the short period of time between the transfer of shares from Scancem to Scanang and the acquisition of the latter by Cimpor.

The dispute has been definitively brought to an end with the sale of the shares held by the Portuguese cement company to the Angolan state. (macauhub)