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Nigerian banking executive Herbert Wigwe’s Access Bank Group acquires South Africa’s Grobank

The Nigerian tier-1 capital bank now has a controlling stake in Grobank.

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Access Bank Group Managing Director Herbert Wigwe.

Herbert Wigwe’s Access Bank Group has acquired South Africa’s Grobank Ltd. following the completion of all regulatory procedures, Legit NG reported.

Grobank was previously known as South African Bank of Athens Ltd. Going forward, the bank will be called Access Bank South Africa.

The acquisition, which is valued at around $60 million, gives the Nigerian tier-1 capital bank a controlling stake in Grobank, making it the first Nigerian lender to venture into South Africa.

Access Bank Group Managing Director Herbert Wigwe noted that the acquisition seals the bank’s commitment to delivering its strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world, in line with its vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.

Grobank CEO Bennie van Rooy said in a statement that the acquisition will position the bank to deliver a robust banking operation that connects key African markets.

“Our corporate customers will now have increased access to trade finance, treasury, international payments and loans through the wider distribution network offered by Access Bank’s presence in the key trade corridors that connect Africa to the rest of the world,” he said. He added that customers can now leverage Access Bank’s IT infrastructure, gain greater security and access more products and services through a best-in-class digital platform.

New acquisitions to expand Access Bank’s African presence to 10 countries

Aside from the deals that the bank has struck in Zambia and Mozambique, the leading lender recently signed a definitive agreement with Atlas Mara to acquire 78.15 percent of the issued share capital with Botswana’s fifth-largest bank, BancABC Ltd. The deal, which is set to close before the end of Q2 2021, will expand Access Bank’s African presence to 10 countries. 

It is worth noting that Access Bank is among potential buyers that have shown interest in acquiring Atlas Mara’s 49.97-percent holding in Nigeria’s sixth-largest lender, Union Bank Nigeria Plc.

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Ardova dismisses winding-up order, as Femi Otedola’s Zenon serves majority shareholder petition over $6-million debt

The once promising relationship between Otedola’s Zenon and Abdulwasiu Sowami’s Prudent Energy has taken a new turn.

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Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Arodva Plc, a Nigerian oil and gas marketing company majority owned by Nigerian businessman Abdulwasiu Sowami, has denied reports that it is facing a winding-up petition over a $6-million debt owed to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, an oil company founded by billionaire businessman Femi Otedola.

The news comes as the once promising relationship between Otedola’s Zenon and Sowami’s Prudent Energy, Ardova’s majority shareholder, takes a new turn over the debt.

The oil company stated in a press release on Tuesday that its management’s attention has been drawn to recent media claims regarding the debt, and it is critical to set the record straight that no winding-up petitions are presently facing the company in relation to the 2019 transaction.

The company went on to state that the current issues are related to claims and warranties made under a share-purchase agreement between Prudent Energy and Zenon for the purchase of shares in Forte Oil Plc in a $200-million deal in 2019.

The management went on to state that Ardova is not party to any of the proceedings, that the proceedings have no bearing on the company’s rights or operations, and that it has no claims against its assets.

Zenon, which has a guarantee for the prompt payment of the debt, served Prudent Energy with a petition earlier this week, more than a month after the deferred consideration, which was due on June 18, had yet to be paid despite demand letters sent to Sowami.

Experts believe that the dispute will reignite debate over Ardova’s share ownership structure.

The $6-million debt, which represents the remaining purchase consideration for the Forte Oil stake, adds to Prudent Energy’s pressures, as shares in Ardova, the company that it acquired nearly three years ago, have fallen significantly from an average price of N23.6 ($0.055) per share in 2019 to N13 ($0.0305) per share at the time of writing this report.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu and son receive $151.6 million in dividends from food business

Just three weeks ago, the Nigerian billionaire received a massive $208-million dividend from BUA Cement.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu and his son received a N62.9-billion ($151.6 million) dividend from his stake in BUA Foods Plc, his newly consolidated food conglomerate that maintains active operations in the food and agro-allied industries.

This comes nearly three weeks after the billionaire received a massive N86.5-billion ($208 million) dividend from his cement company, BUA Cement Plc, as part of cash rewards paid to shareholders.

The $151.6-million dividend, which was electronically deposited into his bank account on Thurs., Aug. 4, represents the majority of the N152-billion ($63 million) final dividend distribution approved by BUA Cement shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting.

With the recent payout from his consolidated food business, Rabiu, who has a $5.8-billion net worth, has now received a total dividend of $359.6 million from his publicly traded businesses this year, which is significantly more than the $157 million that he received last year.

BUA Foods’ multimillion-dollar dividend is the company’s first dividend payment since its shares were listed earlier this year on Jan. 5. The cash reward that shareholders received can be attributed to the company’s stellar performance during its 2021 fiscal year.

According to the group’s financial statement, which represents its first annual report since its shares were listed on the Nigerian Exchange over three months ago, BUA Foods’ profit rose by 97.05 percent, from N35.41 billion ($85.2 million) in 2020 to N69.76 billion ($167.84 million) in 2021.

Despite a decrease in its fortified sugar sales, BUA Foods reported a 13.72-percent increase in profit in the first half of 2022, owing to an 11.3-percent increase in revenue from N151.73 billion ($364.4 million) to N168.85 billion ($405.5 million).

Revenue growth was driven by higher non-fortified sugar and flour sales, which offset lower fortified sugar sales during the period under review.

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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote loses $863 million in single day

Dangote’s net worth has dropped from nearly $20 billion to just $19 billion in the past 24 hours.

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Aliko Dangote, Africa's wealthiest man.

Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote saw his billion-dollar year-to-date wealth gains turn into a $66-million year-to-date loss, as his net worth dropped by $863 million at the end of business on Tuesday.

This multimillion-dollar drop in his wealth was caused by a decrease in the market value of his stake in his cement company, Dangote Cement Plc.

Dangote Cement is Africa’s largest cement manufacturer thanks to its 51.55-million-tonne cement production capacity spread across 10 African countries.

According to data obtained by Billionaires.Africa, Dangote’s net worth has dropped from nearly $20 billion to just $19 billion in the past 24 hours, placing him as the 80th richest man in the world, down from the 71st spot.

With the recent decline in his net worth, he joins a long list of African billionaires whose net worth has decreased noticeably since the beginning of the year, including Johann Rupert, Patrice Motsepe, Strive Masiyiwa, and Mohammed Al-Amoudi.

Dangote, who has a net worth of $19 billion at the time of writing this report, derives the majority of his net worth from his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement, which is presently valued at $8.28 billion.

The drop in his net worth can be attributed to a nine-percent decrease in the share price of his cement company from N265 ($0.634) to N241 ($0.576), fueled by recent selling pressures on the Nigerian Exchange.

The drop in the company’s shares was caused by investor reactions to a double-digit decline in the group’s profit in the first half of 2022 due to higher energy costs and unrealized foreign exchange losses.

According to the group’s recently published financial results, its profit decreased by more than 10 percent in the first half of 2022, falling from N191.63 billion ($460.8 million) in the first half of 2021 to N172.1 billion ($413.8 million).

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