Merger-acquisition: Alucam takes over Socatral
The decision was approved by the shareholders of the companies at the general meetings of June 30, 2020. The final legal details remain to be finalized and the information systems harmonized.
Soon, the Cameroonian Aluminum Company (Alucam) and the Cameroonian Aluminum Transport Company (Socatral) will not be the ones you have known until now. The two entities have decided to merge. During the extraordinary general meetings of June 30, 2020, the shareholders of the two companies unreservedly adopted the only item on the agenda, namely: the merger of Alucam and Socatral. “This is a merger by absorption. Alucam has absorbed Socatral, ”explains Cathy Momha from the communications department at Alucam. From now on, Alucam [capital: 19.177 billion FCFA, Editor’s note] and Socatral [capital: 1.847 billion FCFA] form a single entity. “But the stakeholders are still finalizing the last elements relating to this operation. These are legal details and information systems, particularly in relation to the language elements for the upcoming communication plan. For example, you have to find the name of the new entity, ”explains Cathy Momha.
In fact, we do not yet know the details of the exchange parity (of shares), the magnitude of the increase in the capital of the new entity, the merger premium and the composition of the board of directors. . According to an Alucam executive, this is only a « regularization » of a de facto situation. « Everyone who has already visited the facilities of these two companies has realized that they occupy the same space, share the same facilities », he explains adding that it is very difficult for an external person to make the difference between two such entities.
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This merger-absorption would therefore be part of the very nature of the business. Indeed, Socatral is a workshop which is located just after the last Alucam workshop. “I don’t even understand why we thought we had to separate legally what is very integrated operationally. Here, Alucam and Socatral employees wear the same outfit; the two companies have the same management system; we do the same training and participate in the same meetings, ”comments an employee. This merger should thus give a breath of fresh air to these two companies, in particular to Alucam which has been facing certain economic difficulties in recent years. According to the available financial statements, Alucam’s equity increased from FCFA 19.217 billion in 2017 to FCFA 12.799 billion in 2018. In addition, the company recorded a deficit of FCFA 10.8 billion in 2018, after a positive result of 2.2 billion in 2017. The improvement will have been only a thinning since the company has been accumulating losses for several years already, i.e. 1.870 billion FCFA in 2016, against 10.099 billion in 2015 and 8.512 billion in 2014. Indeed, this operation is a vertical integration which will allow above all a reduction in costs thanks to a better coordination of the upstream and downstream sectors. 2/3 of Alucam’s production is exported while the rest is processed by Socatral to produce corrugated sheets and Alubassa into kitchen utensils for local and regional markets.
Alucam-Socatral: 360,000 tonnes of aluminum to be produced per year
Cameroon is about to import corrugated iron sheets. This is news that should surprise many, since it is home to the first aluminum smelter in Black Africa, the Cameroonian Aluminum Company (Alucam). With around 100,000 tonnes of aluminum per year, the production of Alucam (2/3 exported) is used in local units for the production of corrugated sheets (Socatral) and kitchen utensils (Alubassa). Enough to satisfy the local and regional market. But now, a fire in one of its units and the Covid-19 pandemic have forced Alucam to certain deployment restrictions and the closure of factories. Result: “Due to the incident at Alucam / Socatral, there is a gap between supply and demand. It is a question of temporarily opening the market to make up the deficit in sheets, « warns the Minister of Commerce, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana. Already, the National Fraud Control and Repression Brigade notes that there is currently an increase in prices from 200 FCFA on 2-meter sheets to 1,200 FCFA and 300 FCFA on 3-meter sheets to 2,300 FCFA. However, this situation does not threaten the industry. Moreover, the merger-absorption that has just taken place between Alucam and Socatral should breathe new life into this flagship of Cameroonian industry, and to the sector with regard to the group’s development plan. Using the hot-rolling plate technique, Socatral produces