As we step further into 2024, Africa’s financial scene continues to demonstrate remarkable wealth shifts and strategic moves among its leading entrepreneurs and business magnates. This edition of “This Week In Review: A Snapshot of African Wealth Dynamics” brings into focus the major financial stories across Africa for the week spanning Jan. 8 to 12, as reported by Billionaires.Africa.
In a historic transaction, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, acquired Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), founded by Nigerian billionaire Adebayo Ogunlesi. The $12.5-billion deal, involving cash and stock, marks a significant milestone in creating a leading multi-asset-class infrastructure platform. Ogunlesi’s remarkable journey, from his days at Credit Suisse to leading GIP, has been marked by visionary leadership and strategic investments.
South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert witnessed a $618-million drop in his fortune in just 12 days of 2024. This decline, primarily due to a decrease in Richemont shares, has brought his net worth down from $12.4 billion to $11.8 billion.
Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote has reclaimed his position as Africa’s richest individual. Forbes now values his net worth at $14.6 billion, surpassing South African billionaire Johann Rupert. This valuation includes his billion-dollar fertilizer plant, confirming Dangote’s dominance in Africa’s wealth landscape.
In response to Amazon.com Inc.’s anticipated entry into South Africa, Naspers, under Koos Bekker’s leadership, is bolstering investments in its online retail arm, Takealot. This move aims to solidify Takealot’s market position amidst increasing global competition.
Enrique Razon’s ICTSI, eyeing a significant stake in South Africa’s largest container port, is encountering resistance from powerful labor unions demanding job security guarantees. This situation creates uncertainty around the billion-dollar venture and Razon’s fortune.
Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola has re-emerged on the Forbes Africa’s Richest List with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, marking his third appearance on the list. His wealth is attributed to stakes in Geregu Power, extensive real estate, and holdings in Nigerian banks.
Telecom and oil magnate Mike Adenuga has once again become Nigeria’s second-richest man, with a net worth of $7.4 billion, following Forbes’ revaluation of Globacom. Adenuga’s diverse business interests continue to solidify his status as a key figure in Africa’s business landscape.
Egyptian tycoon Nassef Sawiris, the richest man in North Africa, saw a $271-million decrease in his fortune due to market value drops in his industrial assets. Despite this setback, Sawiris maintains his position as Egypt’s wealthiest individual.
Algerian-born French entrepreneur Sue Nabi experienced a $20.6-million increase in the market value of her Coty Inc. stake, driven by a surge in the company’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Pan-African billionaire Benedict Peters, through Aiteo Eastern E&P Company, unveiled ambitious plans for a new oil pipeline. This strategic move underlines the company’s commitment to infrastructure development and energy sector leadership in Africa.
Natie Kirsh, the wealthiest individual in Eswatini, witnessed a $55.4-million decline in his net worth due to the performance of his private investments, including his majority stake in Jetro Holdings.
Sunu Group, founded by the late Senegalese tycoon Pathe Dione, acquired a minority stake in Africa Golden Bank, extending its influence in the Central African banking sector and continuing Dione’s visionary approach.
David Steward, America’s second-wealthiest Black individual, faced a $390-million reduction in his fortune due to market fluctuations, primarily in his stake in World Wide Technology.
Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, Cameroon’s wealthiest man, diversified into maritime transport with the establishment of Societe Cameroon Port Operators, broadening his business empire in the Central Africa sub-region.
Egyptian businessman Hani Berzi saw a $13.7-million increase in the market value of his stake in Edita Food Industries, as the company’s share price rose on the Egyptian Exchange.
Jim Ovia, Nigeria’s richest banker, experienced a $25-million surge in the market value of his stake in Zenith Bank, thanks to the bank’s share price increase on the Nigerian Exchange.
South African-born billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s net worth declined by $520 million in the first week of 2024, dropping his wealth below $10 billion, mainly due to a decrease in the value of his stake in ImmunityBio.
Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu’s equity stake in Wema Bank surged by more than $7 million in the first week of 2024, driven by an upswing in the bank’s shares on the NGX.
These stories reflect the dynamic nature of Africa’s business environment, highlighting the resilience and strategic agility of its business leaders amid global financial trends.