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Congolese billionaire Paul Obambi to start $1-billion railway project in Congo Brazzaville

The project will link the southwestern town of Mayoko to a seaport at Pointe-Noire.

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Congolese billionaire Paul Obambi.

SAPRO Mayoko SA, an iron-ore miner in the Republic of Congo, has partnered with Thelo DB in a $1-billion deal to build a new railway track in Congo.

The project will link the southwestern town of Mayoko to a seaport at Pointe-Noire.

The partnership entails building a 412-kilometer railway from Mayoko to Pointe-Noire over the course of five years, Construction Review Online reported. After the construction is completed, the railway will serve as a medium through which 12 million tonnes of iron will be moved annually through southwestern Congo.

The companies will also rehabilitate an old 182-kilometer rail section as part of the construction phase. 

SAPRO Mayoko

SAPRO Mayoko is a subsidiary of Sapro Group, founded by Congolese billionaire Paul Obambi. It operates an iron-ore project at Mayoko, which it procured from the South African Exxaro Resources Limited in 2016. 

The company sold the enterprise due to its inability to secure port and rail agreements with the Congolese government, booking a $460-million write-down in the process. 

This made SAPRO the country’s first iron-ore producer and exporter offering premium iron-ore lumps when it shipped its first consignment in April 2019. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Obambi was in talks with French lenders in 2018 to fund a railway that he was building to export iron ore.

SAPRO also has operations in 11 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia, with interests in oil and mining, consumer goods and media. 

Thelo DB 

Thelo DB is a leading railway maker based in Sandton, South Africa. It is an incorporated partnership between Thelo Ventures (Pty) Limited and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, represented by DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH.

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Led by South African Mouton family, PSG embarks on strategic restructuring

The South African Mouton family owns 24.5 percent of the company.

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Piet Mouton.

PSG Group, a South African investment holding founded and led by the Mouton family, has begun restructuring its business.

At the investment holding’s general meeting on Aug. 10, more than 95 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the company’s strategic restructuring, unbundling its stakes in the listed subsidiaries that it owns and delisting from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

As part of the restructuring, the group will unbundle its stake in subsidiaries such as PSG Konsult, Curro, Kaap Agri, and CA&S, as well as its 25.1-percent stake in Stadio, a tertiary education company.

Shareholders will not receive unbundled shares in these subsidiaries, and there will be no scheme consideration in the group.

PSG Group is a South African investment holding company, with positions in banking, education, finance, and consumer goods.

The South African Mouton family owns 24.5 percent of the company, which includes stakes held by family members like Petrus and Johannes Mouton, who serve as executives in the group.

The restructuring comes after years of attempting to close the gap between the holding’s JSE share price and its intrinsic worth, which management believes is far greater than its local exchange valuation.

The average discount between PSG and the firms in which it holds stakes is more than 40 percent, which can be attributed to investors preferring to invest directly in operating companies rather than through a holding corporation.

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African-American billionaire Oprah Winfrey files lawsuit against creators of ‘Oprahdemics’ podcast

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions.

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Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, a well-known African-American billionaire and talkshow host, has filed a lawsuit against the creators of the “Oprahdemics” podcast through her company, Harpo Productions, claiming that the program misleads the public into believing she sponsored or approved it.

According to Reuters, Winfrey, the wealthiest Black woman in the United States and one of the world’s richest Black billionaires, stated that she is neither seeking profit nor damages from the creators of “Oprahdemics,” and she is not attempting to halt the podcast.

She demanded that the podcast’s name be changed because its live events dilute Harpo’s “Oprah” and “O” trademarks and that the use of the word capitalizes on the goodwill that she has spent decades building, a move she said could cause irreparable harm to Harpo’s reputation.

Many consider Winfrey, who turned her hit talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which aired for 25 years, into a media and business empire, to be an institution.

Winfrey returned to the small screen in 2020 on Apple TV+ for an interview show about COVID-19 as part of a multiyear deal with the streamer.

Since the start of the year, her net worth has declined from $2.6 billion to $2.5 billion at the time of writing this report, resulting in a total loss of $100 million for the leading businesswoman.

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions, which has worked on films like “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma.”

She also has a 25.5-percent stake in the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel that she launched in 2011, and a seven-percent stake in Weight Watchers, a global company that provides weight loss and maintenance services, which is presently worth $492 million.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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