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French investor Thierry Deau’s Meridiam signs $179-million hydropower-plant deal with Gabon

Meridiam is a global investment and asset management company founded in 2005.

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Meridiam Founder Thierry Deau.

The Thierry Deau-led Meridiam, a French multinational investor, has signed a $179-million financing deal with Gabon Power Co. to finance a major hydropower plant in the country, Bloomberg reported

Meridiam is a global investment and asset management company founded by Deau in 2005. The company is based in Paris and specializes in developing, financing and managing long-term public infrastructure projects in Europe, North America and Africa. 

Gabon Power Co. is a state-run company owned by Gabon’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (FGIS).

In 2019, Meridiam signed a concession contract with Gabon for the project, Hydro Review reported.

The latest financing deal will result in the building of the 35-megawatt Kinguele Aval facility on the Mbei River, 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Libreville, Gabon’s capital. The project will include the construction of a gravity concrete weir, power plant, stilling basin and substation.

According to Bloomberg, Meridiam stated that the deal will provide sufficient power to generate about 13 percent of the capital’s electricity needs and eventually replace existing thermal output, saving more than 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Gabon is a Central African country, whose economy largely depends on petroleum, manganese mining and timber processing. As of 2020, the unemployment rate in Gabon was approximately 20.47 percent. 

With the latest deal, Deau will create an estimated 800 jobs during the construction period. The plant is expected to start generating power in 2024. 

Meridiam will own 60 percent of the Kinguele Hydropower project company, with its partner FGIS owning 40 percent. 

Seventy-five percent of the financing for the project will come from the International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa and Islamic Development Bank, as agreed in 2019 when Meridiam signed the concession contract.

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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola gains $12.7 million from stake in FBNH

FBNH is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates.

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Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola’s stake in the country’s oldest commercial bank, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBNH), has risen by more than $12 million in recent months, as shares in the financial services group rebounded strongly after falling below key levels.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Otedola’s stake in FBNH has increased in value by N5.34 billion ($12.7 million) in the past 54 days, as investors continued to cherry-pick stakes in the commercial banking group after its price fell below N9 ($0.0214) in June.

FBNH is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates. It is the non-operating holding company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the country’s oldest commercial bank, with active operations in 10 countries.

According to a flurry of trading updates published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in June, Otedola sold 664,939,764 shares in four separate transactions, reducing his stake in the Nigerian lender from 2,717,282,140 shares, or 7.57 percent, to 2,052,342,376 shares, or 5.72 percent.

Shares in the financial group have increased by 31 percent since June 21, nearly 54 days ago, from N8.4 ($0.02) to N11 ($0.026) at the time of writing, amid renewed buying interest in the bank’s shares on the local bourse.

As a result of the double-digit increase in the shares of FBNH, the market value of Otedola’s 5.72 percent stake in FBNH has increased by N5.34 billion ($12.73 million), from N17.24 billion ($41.12 million) on June 21 to N22.58 billion ($53.85 million) at the time of writing this report.

The recent gains in his stake follow a dividend of N951.05 million ($2.29 million) from his equity stake in the financial services group that he received earlier this year.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour gains $1.86 million in 74 days from Palm Hills stake

Mansou owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour. ©Billionaires.Africa

Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour has recorded a EGP35.6-million ($1.86 million) boost in his net worth in the past 74 days, as shares in Palm Hills Development increased by nearly 19 percent in reaction to the company’s recently released first-quarter results.

Palm Hills Development, an operating subsidiary of Egypt’s largest conglomerate, Mansour Group, is a well-known real estate developer with active investments in Egypt. The company develops integrated residential, commercial, and resort communities.

Mansour, the chairman of Palm Hills Development and one of Egypt’s and Africa’s wealthiest individuals, owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

The Egyptian real estate developer revealed that its profit increased by more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2022, from EGP217.4 million ($11.36 million) in the first quarter of 2021 to EGP305.8 million ($16 million), owing to sustained growth in demand for properties in Egypt.

As a result of the firm’s strong financial performance, investors on the Egyptian Stock Exchange increased their buying interest in Palm Hills shares, resulting in an 18.6-percent increase in the firm’s stock price from EGP1.13 ($0.059) on June 1 to EGP1.34 ($0.07) on Aug. 14.

Mansour’s 5.6-percent stake in Palm Hills Development has increased in value over the past 74 days, from EGP191.94 million ($10 million) to EGP227.6 million ($11.89 million) at the time of writing.

This equates to a total gain of EGP35.6 million ($1.86 million) for the Egyptian billionaire, who ranks as one of the wealthiest men on the African continent, alongside his brothers Mohamed Mansour and Youssef Mansour, both of whom own Mansour Group and Palm Hills Development.

His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest businessmen.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu unveils $23.8-million security support fund

It is the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu has announced the creation of the N10-billion ($23.8 million) Nigeria Security Support Fund through his philanthropic organization, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa). He unveiled the project during a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock presidential residence in Abuja.

Rabiu launched the initiative to provide security equipment and medical and other supplies to the families of soldiers fighting terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast, and to strengthen local infrastructure.

The contribution marks the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman, and follows the $3-million development initiative that Rabiu launched in Niger three weeks ago through ASR Africa. Last week, Rabiu received the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger Award in recognition of his contributions to the country of Niger and its people.

Rabiu also praised Buhari for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He cited policies implemented by his administration, which, he said, aided the growth of his manufacturing conglomerate, BUA Group, which is one of the continent’s fastest-growing commercial groups.

He also promised to support the administration’s efforts in industrial development and security.

Rabiu established ASR Africa in April 2021 to promote long-term, impact-driven solutions to developmental issues affecting health, educational, and social development across Africa.

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