* PPC concludes there are no acceptable offers
* PPC end talks with LafargeHolcim
* PPC will now prioritize plant ramp ups in Africa (Adds details, background, analyst comment)
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 14 (Reuters) - South African cement producer PPC is not currently interested in selling or buying assets, its chairman said on Thursday, after ending talks about a possible takeover by Swiss group LafargeHolcim.
PPC, which has operations in six countries, has been seen as a takeover target for several years, with local rival AfriSam , Nigeria's Dangote Cement and Irish building materials group CRH also having expressed interest at some time.
But PPC said its board had now concluded there were no acceptable offers in prospect after it ended talks with LafargeHolcim.
"The number that was put on the table and the merger ratio that was put on the table, for us fell short on value," PPC Chairman Peter Nelson told Reuters, referring to Lafarge's proposal.
Rival AfriSam, which rekindled talks with PPC in February, had also made a new merger proposal, said Nelson but that too was rejected on valuation grounds. He did not give details.
The decision to walk away from all possible merger talks will now give PPC much needed time to focus on ramping up its plants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Slurry Kiln 9 project in South Africa.
It also eliminates uncertainty on which strategic or major assets it would have to dispose of as part of a remedy package.
Going forward, Nelson said PPC would now focus on its existing investment pipeline in the rest of Africa.
"PPC is not looking to sell its assets, it's not looking to merge it's assets, it's looking to focus on its business, deliver cash flow and deliver shareholder value," said Nelson.
The company has over the years pushed deeper into the rest of Africa as profit has slumped in its domestic market. In the year to end March it increased its cement capacity by 33 percent after commissioning its Zimbabwean mill.
The new plants in the DRC and Ethiopia will be fully commissioned during the second half of the current financial year, while the Slurry Kiln 9 project will be commissioned in the first half of 2018.
"PPC has brought on new production from their African operations that will fundamentally place PPC in a much stronger position than they were 12 to 18 months ago," said Afrifocus analyst Tinashe Kambadza.
"The African operations form the core of the investment case at present."
AFRISAM NOT LUCKY, AGAIN
PPC's share price, which has fallen more than 14 percent since the announcement of a possible merger with AfriSam in February, fell 17 percent in early trade on Thursday after it announced that it had ended talks with Lafarge.
It recovered some ground to close down 8.07 percent at 5.81 rand.
AfriSam's previous bid for PPC in September, backed by Canadian firm Fairfax Africa Investments Proprietary Ltd , "fundamentally undervalued PPC", the board of PPC said at the time.
Analysts say PPC wanted a compelling offer way above AfriSam's offer of 5.75 rand a share, as the firm has said in the past that its valuation should reflect its "premium" portfolio of assets across Africa.
CRH pulled out of the bidding race for PPC early in December, a move Nelson described on Thursday as unexpected, while Dangote Cement withdrew its interest in October, saying it did not want to get into a lengthy process with an uncertain outcome.
"It was ironic for us to be positioned as a target, as a company that was desperate, as a company that wanted to sell. PPC is none of that, PPC is the leader in Southern Africa...we are the most invested," Nelson said.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Susan Fenton)