Home » Tanzanian billionaire Rostam Aziz acquires majority stake in Dar es Salaam-based aviation firm

Tanzanian billionaire Rostam Aziz acquires majority stake in Dar es Salaam-based aviation firm

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Rostam Azizi

Tanzanian billionaire Rostam Aziz has acquired a controlling stake in Coastal Travels Company, Tanzania’s pioneer safari operator with more than 30 years of experience, in a strategic attempt to gain exposure in the aviation sector and diversify his investment.

The Tanzanian billionaire became the largest shareholder in Coastal Travels after acquiring a 51-percent stake from Italian-American investor Carolina Colangelo through his aviation company, Taifa Aviation Company, on Sept. 1.

Aziz plans to complete the takeover of the aviation company by acquiring the remaining 49 percent in a strategic move to increase his investments in the country’s aviation sector.

The acquisition of the majority stake in Coastal Travels comes nearly a year after the aviation company successfully completed the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) designed for commercial passenger and/or cargo operators, making it Africa’s only ISSA operator.

As the fourth-largest player in Tanzania’s aviation industry, trailing Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), which has a 52.9-percent market share in the country, as well as Precision Air and Auric Air, which come in second and third place, respectively, the company could increase competition in the industry.

According to inside sources, although discussions about expansion plans under the new investor have yet to begin, Aziz is expected to go large, as the aviation company plans to become the market leader in the sector.

Aside from his interest in Taifa Aviation Company, Aziz is the owner of Taifa Gas, Tanzania’s largest LPG supply company, and was reportedly the first Tanzanian to have a net worth of more than $1 billion, according to Forbes in 2013.

The majority of his fortune is derived from his ownership stake in Vodacom Tanzania, the country’s largest telecommunications provider. In 2014, the Tanzanian billionaire sold his Vodacom Tanzania stake to Vodacom Group South Africa for an estimated $400 million.

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