Billionaire Roundtable: Africa's Biggest Billion Dollar Deals in 2023
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Profiles - April 26, 2023

Billionaire Roundtable: Africa’s Biggest Billion Dollar Deals in 2023 So Far

2023 has so far been a remarkable year for Africa’s wealthiest individuals, as several billion-dollar deals have been struck on the continent. The Billionaire Roundtable highlights a couple of billion-dollar deals sponsored by billionaires like Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Mohammed Dewji across the continent.

These deals are a testament to the increasing confidence in Africa’s investment potential and the growing recognition of the continent’s role as a global economic player. As we forge ahead, we will take a closer look at some of the biggest billion-dollar deals in Africa in 2023, and what they mean for the continent’s economic outlook.

Dangote’s $19 billion oil refinery

One of the biggest deals in the works is Dangote’s oil refinery situated in Lekki Free Zone, Lagos Nigeria. Once completed the refinery would be able to produce 650,000 oil barrels per day. It also has the capacity to produce 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas, 65 million litres of premium motor spirits (petrol), 15 million litres of diesel, and 4 million metric tons of jet fuel each day, approximately, 8 million tons of petroleum products annually. 

The deal, valued at $19 billion, will be in charge of Nigeria’s entire oil supply. According to Dangote Group, the refinery will also produce a petroleum surplus that will be sold across fellow African countries and perhaps other regions outside the continent. Also, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will take a 20% stake in the Refinery.

Largely described as an African milestone, the refinery is projected to be the largest vertically integrated petrochemical complex in the world. The refinery is expected to be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari before he leaves office on the 29th of May, 2023.

Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Lithium mining

Nigeria’s second richest person, Abdulsamad Rabiu’s BUA Group unveiled intentions to mine lithium, a key raw material in the production of batteries for electric vehicles. This comes as part of the group’s diversification and expansion plans. BUA Group, Group Executive Director Kabiru Rabiu hinted that several states were sitting on abandoned lithium deposits that could be converted into material gains.

Speaking about BUA Group’s plan, Kabiru said, “We also want to go massively into mining. We acquired a company called PW Nigeria. PW Nigeria is a civil and mining company in which we are the majority owner, and it does most of our mining. We will use that capacity to look at lithium. Lithium is something that is in huge demand because of electric vehicle batteries.” 

With this move, Abdulsamad could see his net worth skyrocket as demand for lithium is predicted to grow 40-fold in the next two decades due to the energy transition to renewable power and electric vehicles.

Mohammed Dewji’s $4 billion grains production investment

Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji earlier announced plans to float a company worth $4 billion in New York or London this year, with money raised mainly from development banks. According to him, the new company will produce grains and edible oils in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and the Central African Republic.

Revealing that the venture will be structured as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Dewji noted that he would personally invest $400 million as 10% to 20% of total funding. Speaking during an interview, he said, “This is a fantastic way to bring food security… with the potential to feed ourselves and feed the world.” He also predicted that the grain company which might diversify into soybean and sugar plantations, could net investors a 5- to 10-time return over a decade.  

Despite the challenges that Africa’s economies grapple with, Africa’s billionaires remain optimistic about the continent’s potential for growth and prosperity. Through strategic investments and partnerships, these wealthy individuals are helping to drive innovation, create jobs, and build a more prosperous future for all Africans.

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