(Ecofin Agency) - Germany’s building materials company HeidelbergCement, which owns 62.5% of Ciments du Maroc, announced it has signed a deal to acquire two cement projects from Moroccan Anouar Invest. While no further detail is given, local media indicated that the transaction will be completed before the end of the year.
Anouar Invest Group’s decision reflects failure of its attempt to break into the cement market. Back in 2015 when it launched its project, it expressed strong ambitions about it. The group, which already operates in real estate, had bet on a recovery in the local cement industry and hoped to achieve an annual production of around 2.2 million tons.
The initiative received significant support from Chinese counterparts, including International Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank by volume of assets, which injected $170 million in the form of a loan with a 7-year maturity and a three-year grace period.
With this deal, Ciments du Maroc therefore has an opportunity to increase its production by saving the resource that would be required for a complete project set-up.
Initially, Anouar Invest said it was targeting 10% market shares in Morocco and was aiming at foreign markets, especially in Africa. The capacity of Ciments du Maroc to pursue the same ambitions is questioned since the company is still struggling to recover from a bad financial performance. The value of its shares on the Casablanca Stock Exchange reduced by 3% since January 1, 2019.