Africa's richest man to revive Dangote Cement London IPO

Feb 17, 2018

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 people familiar with the matter.

The Nigerian company, controlled by Aliko Dangote, has approached investment bankers to discuss a potential U.K. listing, said the people, who asked not to be named as the talks aren’t public.

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, according to two different people familiar with the matter.

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 comply with a demand from the Lagos bourse that listed companies should have a free float of at least 20 percent, regardless of where the shares are traded.

The company sees London as a more favorable place to attract about $1 billion than in its home base of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, where no company has raised more than Starcomms Plc’s $796 million in 2008.

Dangote Cement, which has a Lagos free float of 8.9 percent and a market valuation of $12.2 billion, 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. Source: Bloomberg

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