Africa’s Richest Man to List Company in London

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote has commenced plans to list his N1.76 trillion ($11 billion) cement business, Dangote Cement Plc, on the London Stock Exchange next year.

Africa’s richest man foresees a boom afterwards. He said: “We want to list in London next year. By then the upside to our business will be much bigger than today.”

The Nigerian industrialist, who has capitalised on the continent’s booming demand for building materials, told reporters he intends to free-float a 20 per cent stake in Dangote Cement to finance its rapid expansion. It will be the first listing of one of Dangote’s companies outside Nigeria.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan have been appointed as co-leads for the London share issue. Dangote said the company was on track to meet the stringent corporate governance requirements for a premium listing, and that he would give up his current role as chairman.

He said: “My plan is to have different faces (on the board). The face of the chairman will not be Aliko Dangote, it will be somebody else, a professional who is well-respected within investment circles.”

Already the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa, Dangote Cement is more than doubling capacity this year to 21m metric tonnes, and wants to reach 43m tonnes in 2015. Besides Nigeria, where it has three plants and 70 per cent market share, the company has contracts to construct factories in eight African countries, from Senegal to South Africa to Ethiopia.

Dangote Cement’s net profit in 2011 is expected to be $790m on revenues of $1.5bn, according to guidance filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Dangote, whose net worth is $12bn according to Forbes, said he wanted to quadruple profits within four years and turn the business into the world’s most profitable cement company.

At the same time, the conglomerate, Dangote Group, is changing focus. It plans to sell 80 per cent stakes in its food business, which include salt, sugar, flour, rice and pasta.

Besides cement, the group will concentrate on three other main sectors, Dangote said. The mining arm will focus on coal, iron and bitumen. The petrochemical business will produce methanol, polyethylene, and fertiliser.