Nigeria's Dangote Cement mulls open tender for share buyback, eyes export growth

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s biggest listed company Dangote Cement is considering an open tender for a share buyback to return cash to shareholders and is deciding on the size of the programme, its chief executive said on Monday.

Workers walk past a pile of limestone at the Dangote Cement mine in Obajana village in Nigeria's central state of Kogi November 8, 2010. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye/File Photo

Michel Puchercos told an analysts’ call the cement company could also conduct a market price buyback as part of options. He did not say how the buyback will be funded but added that the programme was dependent on liquidity.

Dangote Cement, majority-owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, said in March it planned to commence a share buyback programme this year once it had obtained regulatory approval.

Pucheros said the upper limit of the buyback volume was 10% of its 17.04 billion registered shares and the company could offer a 5% premium to the existing price in a market price buyback, he said.

Dangote Cement rose 5.66% on Monday to 141 naira, valuing the cement firm at 2.4 trillion naira ($6.3 billion).

Shares in Dangote Cement, which hit a peak in January is recovering from a 16-week low it touched during a lockdown imposed in April to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The gains in Dangote Cement lifted the main share index 1.46% on Monday to a four-week high.

The company said the lockdown affected its April numbers which had seen some recovery in May and June as restrictions eased.

Dangote Cement said it planned to focus on export expansion in West and Central Africa from Nigeria. It shipped clinker to Senegal in June from Nigeria and plans to ship to Central Africa in the second half.

($1 = 380.5000 naira)

Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Evans