Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, may be planning to sell off his controlling stake in his flour milling business, Ventures Africa has reported.
The Nigerian commodities tycoon is currently in talks with South African consumer goods giant, Tiger Brands over selling his 80% stake in publicly-listed Dangote Flour Mills PLC, West Africa’s largest manufacturer of pasta and flour. Based on today’s closing stock prices, the 80% stake is valued at some $125 million — a small sliver of Dangote’s $11.2 billion fortune.
Tiger Brands revealed on Monday that it was bidding for the 80% stake currently held by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) – Aliko Dangote’s personal investment vehicle through which he also owns over 90% of Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer. The Johannesburg-based company failed to provide any further details on the bid, but mentioned that developments would be reported to shareholders.
Tiger Brands is aggressively pursuing expansion into Africa’s most populous country. In 2010, the company acquired a 49% stake in UAC Foods, Nigeria’s largest manufacturer of convenience foods. In the same year, the company also acquired Deli Foods, one of Nigeria’s largest biscuit companies. If Dangote agrees to sell, the deal could serve to further establish Tiger’s presence in Nigeria’s food and beverages industry. Dangote Flour has a milling capacity of close to 5,000 metric tons per day.
Analysts believe that Dangote might be looking to sell his flour milling interests in order to channel his energies towards growing and expanding his cement interests across sub-Saharan Africa.
“Perhaps flour is not just as lucrative for him anymore. He probably needs to let go in order to devote more time to more lucrative industries like cement and power,” Adejoh Johnson, an independent capital markets analyst, said by phone.
Dangote was ranked No. 76 richest on Forbes’ 2012 list of the World’s Billionaires. His stake in publicly traded Dangote Cement accounts for the vast majority of his fortune.