Transformed AECI to go big globally

AECI CEO Holger Riemensperger

AECI CEO Holger Riemensperger

23rd February 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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JSE-listed South African multinational AECI aims to be the global number three company in its core market segment of mining explosives and mining chemicals by 2030.

Of the company’s business, 80% is already outside South Africa and 30% is outside Africa, CEO Holger Riemensperger emphasises to Engineering News & Mning Weekly.

“In terms of our capabilities, our customers tell us that we’re already in the top tier group.

“We developed a new business strategy and a new business model,” he reports.

“We are currently a diversified industrial chemical company. We no longer wish to be that. We have decided to make the mining market our core business focus, with explosives and detonators (including electronic systems) and with our chemicals business being reshaped to focus mainly (although not exclusively) on mining.”

The group is being reorganised into a corporate structure with two divisions, namely mining (which will be 80% of the business) and chemicals. Of the 16 companies that currently make up the group, eight are going to be de-invested in a phased manner. Six of these will be put up for sale over the next 12 to 18 months.

The remaining companies will be absorbed into the two new divisions.

The cash generated by these disposals will be reinvested into the group’s global mining business. Currently, the company’s main focus outside Africa is Asia-Pacific, but it is seeking to expand into South America (where it has already established a footprint in Brazil) and then into North America (Canada and the US).

Riemensperger was brought in as the new CEO, from outside the group, in May last year. He was appointed to lead a major shake-up of AECI, which the board had decided had become necessary, owing to external and internal developments.

Following Riemensperger’s appointment, an almost wholly new executive committee was appointed. Only one person from the previous committee was retained. The current committee is composed of 50% outside appointments and 50% of promoted long-term AECI insiders.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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