By Alex C
Sovereign fund Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD) has bought a 1.4 percent stake in Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s biggest company by market capitalisation, for $300 million, a Dangote spokesman said on Monday.
Dangote Cement spokesman Carl Franklin confirmed the sale, but provided no further details.
Stockbrokers in Lagos told Reuters 243 million shares of Dangote Cement were transferred to ICD, which holds stakes in some of the emirate’s top companies, at 200 naira each, a 12 percent premium to Dangote Cement’s price of around 223 naira on Monday.
“ICD is diversifying its portfolio … into the West African market through a minority stake in Dangote Cement. We believe this bodes well for future investments into Nigeria from the Middle East,” Akinbamidele Akintola, an Africa equity sales executive at Renaissance Capital, said.
Dangote Cement, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, is expanding and plans to roll out cement plants across Africa to reach an annual 62 million tonnes capacity by 2017, up from a projected 42 million tonnes this year.
It reported Pre Tax profit of $659.4 million in the first half, down 0.57 percent from a year ago, on revenues of 208.9 billion naira.
Shares in Dangote cement, which make up a third of Nigeria’s stock market and hit a record high of 250 naira in July, traded flat at 223 naira on Monday, valuing Nigeria’s biggest company at about $24.5 billion.
Dangote Cement faces competition in Africa from French cement maker Lafarge which is combining its Nigerian and South African businesses to accelerate growth on the continent. Last year, Dangote Industries sold a 1.5 percent of its 95 percent stake in Africa’s biggest cement producer to South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for $289.3 million.
Middle East companies are expanding in Africa. Last week, Qatar National Bank (QNB) bought a 12.5 percent stake in pan-African lender Ecobank for about $200 million.