Kuwait-based aviation services provider, National Aviation Services (NAS), has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Siginon Aviation Limited to acquire a 51-percent stake in the Nairobi-based aviation handling company.
The deal, which is worth around $40 million according to people close to the arrangement, gives NAS a foothold in Nairobi, a major hub in the African aviation industry.
Siginon Aviation is an operating subsidiary of Siginon Group Limited, an integrated end-to-end logistics and air cargo solutions provider with more than 30 years experience and operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Siginon Group is controlled by the family of late Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi.
Through the partnership, NAS is expected to build on its presence in Africa with two airports in Kenya – Nairobi and Eldoret. This will set the company on course to expand its global presence and expertise in airport services as an industry leader.
In addition, the acquisition will put the Kuwait-based aviation company in a position to leverage Siginon Aviation’s deep operating experience in East Africa as it moves to strengthen its ground handling, ramp handling and cargo handling capabilities in the region.
Hassan El-Houry, CEO of NAS, said the partnership arrangement aligns with the need to grow and expand, as demand in the aviation service industry continues to grow.
“During the pandemic, our cargo services came to the forefront by keeping crucial supply chains flowing uninterrupted. In line with the growing demand across the world, we expanded our focus on cargo management in Africa and the partnership with Siginon Aviation is indeed timely,” El-Houry said.
Siginon Group Managing Director Meshack Kipturgo said the partnership is a reflection of the company’s ambition to make a positive mark in service excellence and extend its footprint in Kenya and beyond as it continues to tap into opportunities in the cargo and aviation sector.
NAS is an aviation services provider that manages more than 50 airport lounges in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. It operates as a subsidiary of Kuwait-based logistics giant, Agility.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, NAS outlined a plan to invest $50 million in the African aviation sector. In this vein, the company has been able to launch operations in 14 airports across South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau and Zambia.
The management of the Kuwait-based giant noted that the Siginon Aviation acquisition is an excellent addition to NAS’s growing network in Africa and strengthens its presence as the region’s largest ground handler.
Agility reported a 503.7-percent growth in net profit to KD38.6 million ($128.2million) for Q2 2020. Meanwhile, its profit in the first half of 2021 surged by 215.9 percent to KD51.2 million ($170.1 million).
Malagasy tycoon Hassanein Hiridjee says Africa needs to invest in clean energy transition
Hiridjee is one of Madagascar’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders.
Malagasy multimillionaire businessman and AXIAN Group CEO Hassanein Hiridjee has stated that Africa must invest in a clean energy transition to bolster the continent’s renewable energy capacity.
“We must double our commitment within Africa to increase investments to shape our own energy destiny in order to meet long-term goals,” Hiridjee said.
Millions of Africans could be lifted out of energy poverty with the right strategy and investment in clean energy transition projects stimulated by collective action from the private and public sectors, he said.
His statement comes after U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg pledged $242 million to assist developing countries, including African nations, in transitioning away from non-renewables.
Hiridjee explained that such funding is needed to combat Africa’s continuing energy crisis, in which hundreds of millions lack access to basic electricity.
He added that the lack of access to basic electricity is only worsening as a result of the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, with 25 million more Africans living without electricity than before the pandemic.
Infinity Group, a leading renewable energy company led by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour, recently partnered with the Africa Finance Corporation to acquire Lekela Power, making Infinity the continent’s largest renewable energy company.
Hiridjee, one of Madagascar’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders, has also played a formative role in developing commercially viable energy solutions that provide Africans with efficient, long-term access to energy resources.
Earlier this year, Axian Group completed the expansion of the Ambatolampy solar power plant in Madagascar, from 20 to 40 MWp.
Ugandan tycoon Charles Mbire to pocket $1.15-million interim dividend from MTN Uganda
Mbire owns a significant 3.98-percent stake in the Ugandan telecom outfit.
Ugandan multimillionaire businessman Charles Mbire is on track to receive an interim dividend of Ush4.48 billion ($1.155 million) from his stake in MTN Uganda after the telecom group reported a double-digit percent increase in earnings in the first half of 2022.
MTN Uganda is Uganda’s leading telecom service operator.
Mbire, the chairman of MTN Uganda and one of Uganda’s wealthiest businessmen, owns a significant 3.98-percent stake in the Ugandan telecom outfit, which operates as the fourth operating subsidiary of the South African multinational mobile telecom company, MTN Group.
The interim dividend will be paid electronically into his bank account at a later date from the group’s retained earnings of Ush902 billion ($232.4 million) at the end of its 2022 fiscal year. It is his first dividend from the telecom company since its shares were listed more than eight months ago.
The dividend payment follows a significant rise in the group’s earnings in the first half of 2022 despite a 4.9-percent decline in voice revenue, as it looks set to replicate its stellar performance in 2021.
As a result of the company’s strong financial performance, the board of directors approved the payment of an interim dividend of Ush5 ($0.00128) per share for the six months ending June 30, totaling Ush11.95 billion ($28.9 million), which is subject to withholding taxes.
According to data retrieved from the company’s earnings report for the first six months of 2022, its profit increased by 48.1 percent to Ush193.6 billion ($50.2 million) in the first half of 2022, compared to Ush130.7 billion ($33.7 million) in the first half of 2021.
The double-digit increase in profit can be attributed to a 10-percent surge in the company’s service revenue, which was driven by a significant increase in data and fintech revenue, which were more than sufficient to offset the 4.9-percent decline in voice revenue.
Led by Kenyan founder Owen Sakawa, AI-powered startup Elloe acquires Flo by Saada
Elloe was founded in 2021 by Sakawa, Abhijay Rao, and Aaron Madolora.
Elloe, a U.S.-based conversational commerce startup led by Kenyan tech entrepreneur Owen Sakawa, has acquired Flo by Saada nearly three months after raising more than $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by institutional investors.
Flo by Saada is a Kenyan social commerce startup founded by Gerishon Mwaniki.
The acquisition of the startup, which launched in 2019 to enable small and medium enterprises to build solutions and process payments through USSD and programmable SMS, was completed for an undisclosed fee.
Through the acquisition, Elloe will be able to accelerate its next phase of growth by scaling operations for its corporate clients and expanding its footprint beyond its current operations in Kenya and the Philippines.
Commenting on the transaction in a press release obtained by Billionaires.Africa, Elloe CEO and Founder Owen Sakawa said: “The addition of Flo by Saada technology is a natural extension of Elloe’s offerings and fits perfectly into Elloe’s strategy. It transforms customer interactions from simple communications to conversations across the entire spectrum of customer engagement points.”
He added that Elloe will be better positioned to meet customers’ evolving needs in the future as it continues to provide businesses with embedded commerce capabilities to simplify the way that they serve, connect with, and sell to their own customers from anywhere, on any channel.
Elloe was founded in 2021 by Sakawa, Abhijay Rao, and Aaron Madolora as a first-of-its-kind AI-powered, conversational commerce platform that allows small and medium enterprises to buy and sell products online across messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.
With its proprietary technology that assists small businesses in managing their digital sales and customer service through an omnichannel platform that runs on messaging apps, the startup hopes to capitalize on opportunities in the $35-billion conversational commerce market, which has the potential to reach $130 billion by 2025 in emerging markets.
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