Items filtered by date: Sunday, 14 April 2019

Jumia Technologies raised US$196-million (R2.7-billion) in an initial public offering in New York, as the Africa-focused online retailer and marketplace looks to boost its profile and expand an ever-growing customer base.

Jumia sold 13.5 million American Depositary Shares at $14.50 each, in the middle of a marketing range of $13 to $16, it said in a statement on Friday. The shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol JMIA.

The listing caps seven years of growth for Jumia, which was founded by French entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara in 2012 and now has more than four million customers in 14 African countries. While the retail platform isn’t profitable, sales jumped by almost 40% last year to €130.6-million.

Jumia employees rang bells at the same time to mark the flotation, according to a separate press release issued by the company.

“We’re going to continue to focus on our mission and to work even harder to help consumers, sellers, partners and all stakeholders benefit from this technological revolution,” Poignonnec and Hodara, who are also co-CEOs, said in the release.

The company has headquarters in Berlin and got early funding from German start-up incubator Rocket Internet, while its biggest shareholder is MTN Group. Often tagged Africa’s Amazon.com, it operates in countries where the US giant lacks distribution infrastructure and much presence.

The offering was led by Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, Citigroup and Berenberg Capital Markets.

 

- Bloomberg

Published in Business
Zimbabwe's intelligence agency reportedly stopped former Botswana President Ian Khama and Pelonomi Moitoi, a key rival to incumbent Masisi, along with a South African tycoon, from holding a secret meeting at Victoria Falls border town.
 
Zimbabwe’s well-informed state-owned Herald reports that the South African billionaire was transporting a whopping 90 million Botswana Pula (5.5 million dollars).
 
TheSunday Standard of Botswana, which broke the news says it was able to track down the passengers of the chartered flight from Gaborone’s Lanseria Airport, where the chartered plane until its arrival at the Zimbabwean border town.
 
In Harare, the Herald reported that Pelonomi Moitoi, who plans to run for president with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, her delegation, and the South African tycoon Bridgette Motsepe (who turned out to be South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sister-in-law) were detained and interrogated by Zimbabwean intelligence officers before being deported.
 
South African connection
 
“It’s likely that diplomatic immunity, friendship agreements and niceties among neighbours may have prevented the Zimbabwe security forces from seizing the money,” says Tichaona Zindoga, Editor of the state-owned Herald.
 
In an interview with RFI, Zindoga observed that the CIO had declined any comment about the real purpose of the meeting because of the sensitivity of the matter.
 
The publication’s editor went on to dismiss speculation that the group travelled to Victoria Falls to plan a military coup. “Money laundering, illegal funding, yes, not something so extremist,” he said.
 
Tichoana Zindoga claims that while Ian Khama took to Facebook to discredit what he described as “shallow, shallow lies," he did admit taking part in the meeting with Pelonomi Moitoi, Kabelo Binns, founder of Botswana’s leading PR group and ex-Minister Daphne Kadiwa and axed intelligence chief Isaac Kgosi.
 
Drawn political daggers
 
Zindoga recalls that Khama retired last year, handing over power to Masisi. But he points to ruptures within the party which saw Khama wanting to retake control, leading Masisi to take drastic action against Khama and his cohorts.
 
The latest consequence of the factional fighting going on inside the ruling Botswana Democratic Party is that Khama is supporting the opposition at the expense of his successor, six months away from the October 2019 elections, according to the Zimbabwe Herald editor 
 

Source: RFI

Published in Economy
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