Ohorongo's suitors in town

MD would not confirm or deny

11 April 2019 | Business

International Cement Group, the company rumoured to be interested in buying Schwenk Namibia's shareholding in Ohorongo Cement, is said to have sent a delegation to Namibia.

Namibian Sun recently reported that Schwenk's 69% shareholding in Ohorongo Cement was for sale for US$142 million, or about N$1.5 billion.

International Cement Group manufactures and markets cement and is domiciled in the city state of Singapore, according to a profile listed on Bloomberg.

Ohorongo Namibia's managing director, Hans-Wilhelm Schutte, would neither confirm nor deny whether the Chinese-linked company had representatives visiting.

“The share purchase is being done at a higher level. It has nothing to do with Ohorongo Cement. It is very difficult to comment,” Schutte said during a brief telephonic conversation with Namibian Sun.

Schutte further referred the newspaper to make contact with International Cement Group and Schwenk Namibia.

International Cement did not respond to an email to establish what the purpose of the visit to Ohorongo entailed. Ohorongo is majority owned by Schwenk Namibia. Its other shareholders include the Development Bank of Namibia, the Southern African Development Bank and the Industrial Development Corporation.

The Chinese connection

International Cement Group is said to have links to China through its chairman Ma Zhaoyang, its CEO Zengtao Zhang, and board director Chg Beng Hua.

Zhaoyang also serves on the board of West China Cement, a major manufacturer and distributor of cement in north western China.

He also serves on the board of Sino Vanadium, which engages in the exploration and development of vanadium mineral properties. Sino Vanadium is also a subsidiary company of BVI Fit Plus Holdings to which International Cement CEO Zhang is linked.

The other board member on International Cement Group's board is executive director Chng Beng Hua. Hua is an executive director of Compact Metal Industries, which was until recently delisted from the Singapore Stock Exchange as reported by New Era.

Further to that is a plan to have Chinese national Cao Jianshun take over as CEO of Ohorongo, according to disclosures made by International Cement Group to the Singapore Stock Exchange New Era wrote.