Speaking at the Africa Global Business Forum, Investment Corp. of Dubai CEO says his company has a tie-up with Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote that will invest in agriculture. Dangote has recently been involved in a spate of deals for lands in Nigeria, involving hundreds of thousands of hectares.
Richest African Dangote says Dubai deals may be billions
By Matthew Martin and Chris Kay
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said further deals with the Investment Corp. of Dubai may run into billions of dollars after the Emirati holding company invested $300 million in his cement business last month.
“We have also agreed to invest in other other ventures in oil and agriculture,” Dangote said today in an interview at a conference in Dubai. “They already have a seat on our board. This could run into billions of dollars. There are a lot of opportunities that we are looking at with ICD.”
ICD is exploring opportunities to work with the Nigerian billionaire after taking an unspecified holding in Dangote Cement Plc (DANGCEM) last month, its first major Africa investment, ICD Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Al Shaibani also said today in Dubai. The company is diversifying its investments, which include Emirates airline and Emaar Properties PJSC.
Dangote, whose cement and commodities businesses built him a $23.1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index, partnered with the private-equity firms Blackstone Group LP (BX) and Carlyle Group LP (CG) in August for Africa investments. He plans to spend about $3 billion to boost production of sugar and rice at his companies, he said today.
Dangote’s cement business, the biggest producer in Africa, has the capacity to produce 29 million tons in Nigeria and plans to expand in 13 other countries on the continent.
The billionaire is bidding for gas assets in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, to help stem continuing disruptions to his cement plants in the West African nation. He’s also building a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria’s southwest that is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
“We are looking forward to doing more with Mr. Dangote, and we have some things that we are exploring at the moment,” ICD’s Al Shaibani said. “Having the right partner, especially in Africa, is the key thing.”
While Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer, it relies on fuel imports to meet more than 70 percent of its needs. Four state refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels a day are operating at a fraction of that because of poor maintenance and aging equipment.
Dangote’s businesses offer “huge growth potential and we saw this as the right moment to come in,” Al Shaibani said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Martin in Dubai at [email protected]; Chris Kay in Lagos at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at [email protected] Steve Bailey