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Douglas Stevenson-led Cell C seeks bailout from RMB and Investec

Cell C is South Africa’s fourth-largest mobile phone operator.

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South African businessman Douglas Stevenson.

The South African mobile operator Cell C Pty Limited (Cell C) is seeking a bailout of up to $280 million (4 billion rand) from Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Investec Limited to be deployed as fresh capital, Bloomberg reported

The company is already in advanced talks with RMB, a subsidiary of FirstRand Limited, and the Anglo-South African international banking and wealth management group, Investec.

“RMB can confirm that we are in discussions with Cell C and its shareholders regarding financing. Client confidentiality precludes us from sharing any details,” an RMB representative was reported as saying.

Cell C is South Africa’s fourth-largest mobile phone operator led by CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson. He was appointed interim CEO in March 2019, replacing Jose Dos Santos, who announced his resignation in February 2019.

“The biggest obstacles have been brought about by own goals, namely a misguided business strategy, a recapitalization in 2017, which burdened the business with unsustainable debt, poor decision-making and bad governance,” Stevenson wrote to TechCentral. He noted that the mobile phone operator has been distressed for years.

With near to $701 million (10 billion rand) in debt, the telecom company is approaching the end of its recapitalization* plan. However, deals with former creditors have been finalized to pave the way for new funding, Bloomberg reported. Meanwhile, recapitalization is in progress and at the critical stage.

In January, it was speculated that South Africa’s number-one telecom operator, Vodacom Group Limited, sought to buy out Cell C to strengthen its position as the country’s market leader. Vodacom is a subsidiary of the London-based telecom giant, Vodafone.

If the deal had gone through, Vodacom would have gained a little over 1 million high-paying subscribers and grown its 5.8 million post-paid subscriber base.

*Recapitalization is the process of restructuring a company’s debt and equity mixture, often to stabilize a company’s capital structure.

East Africa

Kenyan banking exec Andrew Ndegwa gains $1.5 million in 43 days from investment in NCBA Group

Ndegwa, an executive director of First Chartered Securities Limited, owns 4.3 percent of NCBA Group.

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Andrew Ndegwa.

After losing a sizable portion of its market capitalization in the first half of 2022, NCBA Group has seen its share price soar above its opening price at the start of this year.

NCBA Group is a financial services conglomerate based in Kenya.

Due to the recent gains in the company’s share price, Kenyan banking tycoon Andrew Ndegwa has seen the market value of his stake in the conglomerate increase by more than $1.5 million over the past 43 days.

As of press time on Aug. 12, shares in NCBA Group were trading at Ksh26.2 ($0.22), 4.73-percent less than their opening price this morning as wary investors took advantage of the high price to sell off some of their positions in the bank.

Since June 30, shares in the Nairobi-based financial services provider have risen by 11 percent, from Ksh23.6 ($0.198) per share to Ksh26.2 ($0.22) per share, driven by a resurgence in buying interest among market participants.

Ndegwa, an executive director of First Chartered Securities Limited, owns 4.3 percent of NCBA Group. He has seen the market value of his stake rise from Ksh1.67 billion ($14.02 million) on June 30 to Ksh1.86 billion ($15.57 million) due to the recent bullish sentiment on the NSE floor.

As a result, the banking tycoon has gained a total of Ksh184.36 million ($1.54 million) over the past 43 days, solidifying his status once more as one of the wealthiest investors on the NSE.

Meanwhile, James Ndegwa, his brother and the former head of Kenya’s capital markets authority, has seen his 4.23-percent stake in NCBA Group increase by $1.47 million over this same period.

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Led by Egyptian Khamis family, Oriental Weavers set to withdraw investments from China

Oriental Weavers operates under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

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Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

The board of directors of Oriental Weavers has decided to withdraw its investments in China as the management implements measures to maximize earnings and revenues in line with its strategic growth roadmap. 

Operating under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis and other family members of the late Mohammed Farid Khamis, Oriental Weavers is a leading carpet manufacturer and distributor with active operations in about 150 countries worldwide.

According to the plan to withdraw its investments from China, the company declared that it will accept already made offers to buy out its stake in Oriental Weavers China, and further information will be released after the deal has been completed.

Through this decision, the company will sell its Chinese manufacturing facilities, Oriental Weavers (Tianjin) Company Limited (Oriental Weavers China), to local investors.

The decision to withdraw its investments in Mainland China was made almost eight months after the company’s board gave the management permission to study the situation and decide whether to sell or liquidate Oriental Weavers China.

Oriental Weavers’ exit from China will be crucial to lowering operating costs as it seeks to cut ties with the Asian economy as a result of brewing regulatory tensions in China and escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

According to Yasmine Al-Gohary, Oriental Weavers’ investor relations manager, the decision to withdraw its investments from China can be attributed to the high operating costs in the country, particularly following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

According to Al-Gohary, the operations in China, which make up just 0.3 percent of the group’s total assets and only contribute one percent of its revenue, were also impacted by the frequent factory closures and shortening of working hours.

Al-Gohary added that the business also intended to invest $10 million this year to place itself on the path of growth and increase its production capacity to keep up with market demand.

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Mike Adenuga beats out Abdul Samad Rabiu to reemerge as Nigeria’s second-richest billionaire

His net worth has dropped by more than $400 million this year as Globacom’s share price sank.

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Mike Adenuga. ©Billionaires.Africa

Telecom mogul Mike Adenuga has reemerged as Nigeria’s second-richest man after three weeks in the third position. Now, he trails only Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, who tops the list of Nigeria’s wealthiest people, with a net worth of $19.8 billion.

The leading businessman, who is the founder of Nigeria’s second-largest telecom services provider Globacom, has surpassed billionaire industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu, whose net worth has fallen from more than $7 billion to $5.8 billion in less than three months.

Adenuga’s reemergence as Africa’s second-richest man comes nearly two months after an exclusive report by Billionaires.Africa confirmed that Rabiu had surpassed the telecom and oil mogul to become the country’s second-wealthiest billionaire.

According to Forbes, Adenuga, who derives the majority of his fortune from his mobile phone network, Globacom, and his oil exploration company, Conoil Plc, has surpassed Rabiu as Nigeria’s richest man, with a net worth of $6.3 billion, compared to Rabiu’s $5.8 billion.

Adenuga, like Rabiu, has recorded a significant decline in his net worth in recent months. However, his the drop in his wealth has been less severe than Rabiu’s, who has lost more than $1.2 billion of his fortune over the past two months.

The revaluation of his interest in Globacom has caused his net worth to fall by more than $400 million since the start of the year, from $6.7 billion to $6.3 billion at the time of writing.

Nearly two weeks ago, Conoil reported a double-digit percent increase in earnings in the first half of 2022 despite a significant decrease in top-line performance during the period under review.

Despite a double-digit decline in revenue, profit increased by 70.5 percent to N1.81 billion ($4.35 million) in the first half of 2022 from N1.06 billion ($2.55 million) in the first half of 2021, according to the company’s half-year financial report.

The group’s cost-cutting strategies, which reduced sales-related, administrative, and distribution costs, can be attributed to its double-digit increase in earnings as management continued to create value for shareholders.

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