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Kenyan billionaire businessman, Narendra Raval beats Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, to walk away with cement processor plant for $50 million

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  • The billionaire businessman who founded the Devki Group of Companies has said the transaction will help position his company as the leading cement manufacturer in the region.
  • Raval’s announcement now puts to rest speculations that widely circulated last year linking Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, to the takeover of the struggling firm.
  • The deal will see National Cement Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Devki Group, acquire all cement and non-cement assets and business of ARM Cement PLC in Kenya.

Kenya’s billionaire businessman, Narendra Raval has acquired struggling cement processor ARM for Sh5 billion ($50 million).

The billionaire businessman who founded the Devki Group of Companies has said the transaction will help position his company as the leading cement manufacturer in the region.

“The industry is poised for growth and we are excited about the prospects for this next chapter of our business. We will endeavour to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders including the employees, customers and suppliers in the overall interest of Kenya,” said Raval on Wednesday.


ARM Cement factory

Mr. Raval added that the deal will be financed through a combination of debt and internally generated cash. Raval’s announcement now puts to rest speculations that widely circulated last year linking Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, to the takeover of the struggling firm.

In 2018, in an interview with Bloomberg News Dangote revealed that he was eyeing a troubled company in Kenya suspected to be ARM.

“There is a company which … has operations in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda and we are talking to that company to see if we can take it over,” Mr Dangote said without naming the acquisition target.

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ARM administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said National Cement presented the best bid for the business, having met the set criteria consisting of offer price, deal certainty (proof of funds) and terms and conditions.

The deal will see National Cement Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Devki Group, acquire all cement and non-cement assets and business of ARM Cement PLC in Kenya.

Mr. Raval’s Devki Group of Companies has a regional presence with companies manufacturing cement, steel products, and roofing sheets. Companies under the Devki Group conglomerate include Devki Steel Mills Limited, National Cement Company Limited Uganda, Maisha Mabati Mills Limited and Northwood Aviation Limited.


Narendra Raval with President Uhuru Kenyatta

Mr. Raval owns a cement grinding plant in Lukenya (Machakos County) and a clinkering plant at Simba town in Kajiado County.

ARM Cement, founded in 1974 by the late family patriarch Harjivandas J Paunrana, has been the flagship business of the wealthy Paunrana family.