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Eight African billionaires make Sunday Times UK Rich List

Among them are Zimbabwean telecom billionaire Strive Masiyiwa and Swazi retail and property mogul Nathan “Natie” Kirsch.

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Natie Kirsh.

Eight African billionaires have made the recently released 2022 Sunday Times Rich List featuring the UK’s 250 wealthiest people.

South African billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer is the richest African on the list, with a fortune that the Sunday Times pegs at £6.456 billion. He ranks 24th on the list, up from the 31st spot last year. The bulk of his fortune stems from the huge windfall that he received in 2012 when his family sold off their 40-percent stake in the diamond mining giant De Beers to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash.  

Swazi retail and property mogul Nathan “Natie” Kirsch is the second richest African on the list. His £5.208-billion fortune places him in the 35th spot on the list, up from 42nd a year ago. The 90-year-old billionaire owns a 75-percent stake in Jetro Holdings, a renowned U.S. consumer products company that owns and operates Jetro Cash & Carry and Restaurant Depot locations in more than 30 states across the United States. Kirsch also controls a 54-percent stake in Abacus Property Group, a Sydney-based real estate investment trust. He also owns a real estate portfolio that spans four continents, including London’s first office tower, Tower 42 and the Jandakot Airport in Perth, Australia.

South African-born Clive Calder, a former record executive and the co-founder of Zomba Group, is the third richest African on the list. He ranks 64th on the list with a £2.75-billion fortune. Calder, 75, became a billionaire in 2002 when he sold his music company Zomba Group to Bertlesmann, a German mass media corporation, for $2.7 billion.

South African property and insurance mogul Douw Steyn ranked 84th on the Sunday Times Rich List. His £2.1-billion fortune is derived from BGL Group, a UK-based insurance and financial services company that he founded. BGL Group is the parent of Comparethemarket.com. Steyn, 69, is also the owner of the famous Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, and Steyn City, a secure 2,000-acre parkland estate located in Johannesburg. He is the fourth wealthiest African on the list.

Zimbabwean telecom billionaire Strive Masiyiwa is the fifth richest African on the list, with a fortune that the Sunday Times Rich List estimates at £2 billion, placing him in the 89th spot on the list. Masiyiwa is the founder of Econet Group, one of Africa’s largest mobile telecom companies. He is also the founder of Liquid Telecom, an independent data, voice and IP provider.

Egyptian-born Mohamed Al Fayed is the sixth African on the list and the 107th richest person in the UK with a fortune that the Sunday Times Rich List places at £1.699 billion. Al Fayed is the former owner of Harrod’s, the globally-famous London department store that he sold to Qatar in 2010. He also owns the Ritz Paris hotel.

Sudanese-born telecom tycoon Mo Ibrahim is the seventh African on the list. The Sunday Times pegged his net worth at £889 million, making him the 194th richest person in the United Kingdom. Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim founded Celtel International in 1998, one of the earliest mobile phone companies serving Africa and the Middle East. He sold the company to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company for more than $3 billion in 2005.

South African businessman Manfred Gorvy takes the 200th position on the list, with an £861-million fortune. He is the founder and chairman of Hanover Acceptances, a holding company that owns large stakes in companies like Dorrington Plc, Refresco Gerber, African Realty Trust and Fresh Capital.

The UK’s Sunday Times Rich List records the country’s 250 wealthiest individuals. The list covers individuals and families in the United Kingdom, and includes many businessmen and women who have dual citizenship through business, investments or residency in the country.

Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who sit at the helm of Hinduja Group of India, topped the list with their £28.472 billion fortune, while businessman and inventor Sir James Dyson and his family came in second in the list with a fortune estimated at £23 billion.

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Kanye West faces new hurdle in business and personal life as Australian visa denial looms

The potential denial of a visa may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Kanye West.

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Ye
Kanye West, now formerly known as Ye.

African-American multi-industry creative, Kanye West, who is now formerly known as Ye, may face a new hurdle in his business and personal life as he may be denied entry into Australia.

The African-American rapper-turned-mogul had reportedly planned to meet the family of his new partner, Melbourne native Bianca Censori, but his anti-Semitic comments in October may prevent him from entering the country.

The news of a potential ban was confirmed by Australian Minister for Education Jason Clare, who stated that individuals who have made similar comments have been denied visas in the past and that Ye will have to go through the same process and answer the same questions.

“People like that who’ve applied for visas to get into Australia in the past have been rejected,” Clare said. “I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did.” 

Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dvir Abramovich and opposition leader Peter Dutton have joined in calling for Kanye West to be banned from entering Australia due to his “appalling” comments.

The backlash from Ye’s anti-Semitic remarks (Kanye West) has already had a significant impact on his business ventures and wealth. In October, he lost all of his partnerships through his brand Yeezy with companies such as Adidas and Balenciaga.

The termination of the Adidas partnership, which began in 2013, had a substantial impact on Ye’s net worth. Forbes reported that the termination of the deal led to a decline of more than $1.6 billion, taking Ye’s net worth from $2 billion to $400 million.

The cancellation of the partnership that grew the Yeezy line into a brand that accounted for up to €1.5 billion ($1.47 billion) of Adidas’ total sales over the last decade is expected to cost the German behemoth up to €250 million ($247 million) in earnings.

The aftermath of Ye’s anti-Semitic comments has been negative for his wealth and ranking as one of the richest Black individuals in the US and one of the richest businessmen globally.

The potential denial of a visa to enter Australia may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Ye because of his anti-Semitic comments. 

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James Mwangi’s Equity Group to receive $4.1 million for acquisition of Spire Bank

Equity Group is the largest financial services conglomerate in East Africa.

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James Mwangi.

Equity Group Holdings, the Kenyan financial services giant led by James Mwangi, is set to receive millions of dollars from Mwalimu Sacco’s acquisition of financially distressed Spire Bank, as the teachers-backed lender agreed to pay Equity Group Ksh510 million ($4.1 million).

The deal is structured as an asset purchase transaction, backed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and will see Equity Group assume control over the assets and liabilities of the troubled bank.

The $4.1-million payment by Mwalimu Sacco to Equity represents the difference between the assets and liabilities of Spire Bank, implying that the bank holds zero value and the teachers have lost millions of dollars after purchasing a majority stake in 2014.

Mwalimu Sacco CEO Kenneth Odhiambo said the key consideration was to stop the bleeding and preserve Sacco’s bottomline for its members.

Equity Group will settle all redundancy costs for the more than 100 employees who will lose their jobs following the deal. The bank’s non-performing loans stand at Ksh2.63 billion ($21.1 million), and Equity’s immediate task will be to step up collections and recoveries.

The process of exiting Spire Bank was not as seamless as the initial acquisition, with Mwalimu Sacco citing the bank’s decline as beginning after the withdrawal of Naushad Merali’s deposits worth Ksh1.7 billion ($13.7 million), which represented one-fifth of the bank’s total deposits. 

The takeover of the troubled Spire Bank may present additional challenges and opportunities for Equity Group, which under the leadership of Kenyan businessman, Mwangi reported profits in excess of $280 million in the first nine months of 2022.

As of today, Equity Group shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange are trading at Ksh44.95 ($0.361) per share, a 0.99 percent decrease from their closing price on Fri., Jan. 27.

This values the company at Ksh170 billion ($1.36 billion) and Mwangi’s 3.38-percent stake at Ksh5.74 billion ($46.1 million).

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s food conglomerate achieves milestone with $195-million profit

Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, own 99.8 percent of BUA Foods.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu
Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

BUA Foods Plc, a leading food conglomerate majority owned by Africa’s fourth-richest man Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, has achieved a milestone in its financial performance as it reported record-high earnings at the end of its 2022 fiscal year.

With a profit surge surpassing N90 billion ($195 million), the company’s latest earnings report highlights its impressive growth and financial strength. The Abdul Samad Rabiu-led food conglomerate has reported a record high in its financial performance, with its profit for the year ending Dec. 31, 2022, surging by a staggering 30 percent.

The unaudited financial statements reveal that the group’s earnings rose from N69.77 billion ($151.5 million) in 2021 to N90.4 billion ($196.3 million) at the end of 2022, driven by an increase in revenue from its diverse product portfolio of sugar, pasta, bakery flour, and wheat bran.

The remarkable growth reflects the company’s ability to continuously expand its offerings and maximize profitability in a competitive market.

BUA Foods’ revenue surged from N333.37 billion ($723.8 million) to N417.82 billion ($907.1 million) due to increased sales of non-fortified sugar N79.15 billion ($171.8 million) to N144.29 billion ($313.2 million) and other food items such as sugar molasses, bakery flour, pasta, and wheat bran.

The increase in consumer demand for food items, including stockpiling, resulted in higher prices and a corresponding boost in revenue for the group.

The robust performance led to an increase in retained earnings and shareholder equity from N192.66 billion ($418.26 million) and N200.7 billion ($435.7 million) in 2021 to N237.15 billion ($514.86 million) and N245.21 billion ($532.35 million) in 2022.

The outstanding financial performance is expected to result in a substantial increase in dividend earnings for Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, with their 99.8-percent ownership in the consolidated food conglomerate.

This will be a marked improvement from the N62.9 billion ($151.6 million) that they received in dividends last year.

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