Africa’s Richest Man to Revive Dangote Cement London IPO

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Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote GCON, Owner of the Dangote Group.

Dangote Cement Plc, owned by Africa’s richest man, has revived plans for a share sale in London that could raise about $1 billion, according to source.

The Nigerian company, controlled by Aliko Dangote, has approached investment bankers to discuss a potential U.K. listing, said the people. Once banks have been appointed, it will probably take at least five months to complete the process, one of the people said. The cement maker is also considering issuing a debut Eurobond.

Discussions are ongoing and a listing of Africa’s biggest cement maker may not go ahead, the people said.

“We have not, to the best of my knowledge, taken such a decision,”  Anthony Chiejina, Dangote Cement’s spokesman in Lagos, said in an emailed response to questions, without commenting on the banker talks.

Fresh capital would enable Dangote Cement to fund expansion plans in sub-Saharan Africa and broaden its base of investors. The company sees London as a more favourable place to attract about $1 billion than in its home base of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Dangote Cement has a free float in Lagos of 14.9 percent, according to its head of investor relations, Carl Franklin, and a market valuation of $12.2 billion. It mulled raising equity in London in 2010. At the time, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley helped it prepare a sale that could have raised as much as $5 billion, before the move was abandoned.

The revival of the plan comes as Dangote Cement shares climb to near records as the Nigerian economy recovers from a downturn caused by the 2014 slump in oil prices. The economy of Africa’s most populous nation went into recession in 2016 as government revenue plunged. Nigerian stocks are up 11 percent this year in dollar terms, the sixth best performance globally according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Aliko Dangote has a net worth of $13.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His Dangote Industries Ltd. conglomerate has interests in sugar, flour and packaged food as well as controlling the cement company.

The 60-year-old has repeatedly expressed a desire to bid for London’s Arsenal Football Club and is building a 650,000 barrel-a-day oil refinery near Lagos, which will cost more than $10 billion.

Amaka E. Nliam