Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is in the race to acquire Kenya’s trouble cement make ARM. This comes a few months after insiders at the troubled ARM pointed an accusing finger at Dangote’s cement company, Dangote Cement.
Apparently, they cited close links between the company and UBA Bank which placed it under administration.
UBA Bank placed ARM under administration as the Kenyan cement firm struggled to repay a Sh. 500 million overdraft borrowed from the lender.
Court filings as well as senior insiders at the company tell of how UBA Bank’s strict interpretation of its loan conditions thwarted ARM’s frantic efforts to stay afloat, despite UK sovereign fund CDC’s documented promises to inject working capital into the firm.
Dangote Cement, owned by Dangote, has a close business relationship with the Nigerian-based lender United Bank for Africa (UBA Bank).
The Lagos-headquartered UBA started a partnership with the Nigerian billionaire industrialist to provide banking services to his Dangote Cement empire in 13 countries across Africa a year ago.
The partnership is hinged on UBA’s presence in all the 14 countries where Dangote Cement is building plants, except South Africa.
Dangote’s cement making company, which has long held interest in venturing into Kenya, pushed back its entry into the country to 2021 having earlier planned to build a local cement factory this year.