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Horn of Africa

Sudanese tycoon Osama Daoud Abdellatif’s DAL Group offers Zain $1.3 billion for telecom business in Sudan

DAL Group is a Sudan-based conglomerate with investments and active operations across several sectors.



Businessman Osama Daoud Abdellatif.

Kuwait’s leading telecom operator Zain has received a $1.3-billion non-binding offer from Invictus Holding Limited, an operating subsidiary of DAL Group, Sudan’s largest conglomerate, in exchange for a 100-percent stake in Zain Sudan and Kuwait Sudanese Holding Co.

DAL Group is a Sudan-based conglomerate with investments and active operations across several sectors, including food, engineering and agriculture. The group operates under the leadership of Sudanese business tycoon Osama Daoud Abdellatif.

According to a confirmation submitted by the telecom behemoth in a bourse filing, the board agreed to complete due diligence on the offer from Invictus Holding, a subsidiary of DAL Group. 

Zain added that the offer does not include its investment and business in South Sudan, as it is specifically directed to take over its assets and stake in Zain Sudan and the Kuwait Sudanese Holding.

As the largest private enterprise in the country, the recent move by DAL Group to acquire the Kuwait Sudanese Holding and Zain’s business in Sudan, which is the country’s leading telecom providers, is a strategic attempt to broaden its portfolio in the country.

Osama Abdellatif, the chairman and founder of DAL Group, revealed that the move is strategic and demonstrates the conglomerate’s trust in the country’s economic prospects, as well as the growth potentials of the telecom sector.

“We are very bullish about Sudan and the future of Sudan, and we want to engage with the country on its journey to success,” Abdellatif said.

The offer comes at a time of economic difficulties in Sudan after it entered a state of hyperinflation in 2020, estimated to be in the vicinity of 270 percent.

The country has shown signs of recovery until a coup on Oct. 25 led to a freeze in international financing. 

Information confirmed by Billionaires.Africa revealed that Zain Sudan reported its best performance ever since 2016 in 2020, despite the impact on revenues from the pandemic, estimated at approximately $11 million.

The leading telecom operator has a 49-percent market share and 16.6 million subscribers. It reported a 37-percent increase in revenue to $417 million due to several price revamps in 2020, while its net income increased by 23 percent to $61 million.

Zain Sudan also invested 26 percent of its revenue, or $110 million, in its operations, expanding and acquiring multiple spectrum bands to enhance its 4G LTE network across the country. Its mobile network currently covers 90 percent of the population across 2,814 network sites.

Horn of Africa

Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi loses $855 million in 2021

Al-Amoudi, who is the wealthiest man in Ethiopia, has a net worth of $6.71 billion.



Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi.

Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi has seen his net worth decline by $855 million since the start of the year, as the market value of his investments in industrial assets slumped significantly during the year.

Research conducted by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the $855-million reduction in his net worth translates to an average gain of $2.34 million per day for the billionaire since December.

Al-Amoudi, who controls a collection of industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Morocco, has seen his fortune decline by more than 11 percent since the year began.

Data retrieved from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index revealed that his net worth since the start of the year has dropped from $7.56 billion on Jan. 1 to $6.71 billion on Dec. 31. This translates to a wealth loss of $855 million for the Ethiopian billionaire since the beginning of 2021.

The staggering decline in his net worth was spurred by a revaluation of his assets, which includes his stake in Svenska Petroleum Exploration, Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, and a 67-percent stake in Samir, Morocco’s only oil refiner.

The $855-million loss makes him one of the few African billionaires who recorded significant wealth declines in 2021.

The multimillion-dollar loss in his wealth is linked partly to the performance of his investment in Svenska and Preem, as the disruption in the oil and gas industry in 2020 impacted the performance of oil companies.

As a result, Preem posted a 31-percent decline in revenue in 2020 from SEK84.69 billion ($9.36 billion) in the previous year to SEK58.19 billion ($6.57 billion), while its gross profit for the period fell from SEK2.83 billion ($319.6 million) to SEK575 million ($64.9 million).

As of the time of the writing of this report, Al-Amoudi, who is the wealthiest man in Ethiopia and one of the richest men in Africa, has a net worth of $6.71 billion, making him the 425th richest man in the world.

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Horn of Africa

Somali multimillionaire businessman Ismail Ahmed seeks funding at $5-billion valuation

WorldRemit is a cross-border digital payments platform that provides money transfer services.



Somali multimillionaire businessman Ismail Ahmed.

The globally acclaimed fintech company WorldRemit is seeking to raise funding at a valuation of $5 billion ahead of a potential IPO, Bloomberg reported.

WorldRemit is a cross-border digital payments platform that provides international money transfer and remittance services in 130 countries and more than 70 currencies. 

The London-based fintech startup was co-founded in 2010 by Somaliland-born British multimillionaire Ismail Ahmed, Catherine Wines and Richard Igoe. It launched first in Somaliland.

Anonymous insiders revealed that the company is in talks with investors over the latest funding round, although the deal has not yet been concluded and the terms still could change, media report.

Nevertheless, an IPO could potentially arrive as early as 2022.

Since WorldRemit launched in Somaliland*, diaspora remittances have grown significantly in the dysfunctional state, which relies heavily on money sent from abroad to run its economy.

As of 2020, the government recorded a 15-percent surge in diaspora remittances, amounting to $1.3 billion.

In April, Ahmed launched a $500-million (Sh54.2 billion) fund to support education, healthcare and infrastructure development in Somaliland through his Sahamiye Foundation.

The fintech company said at the time that the initiative would help Somaliland move past “traditional models of donor funding and towards a more entrepreneurial, scale-up approach.”

The Sahamiye Foundation is based in London and Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.

Since its founding in 2010, WorldRemit has grown into a popular brand in the global space, particularly in Africa. It boasts more than 5.7 million customers.

For Ahmed, founding WorldRemit was the culmination of 20 years of experience in the money transfer industry and job-role with international lenders.

*Somaliland, or the Republic of Somaliland, is an unrecognized sovereign state in the Horn of Africa. Internationally, the country is still considered to be a part of Somalia.

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Horn of Africa

Rebecca Mbithi plans to expand Family Bank after corporate bond trading on Nairobi bourse

The move comes after the bank raised $39 million against a $27.8-million target in its issued bond.



Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi.

Family Bank Limited CEO Rebecca Mbithi plans to expand the bank’s presence to 47 more counties, while eyeing tier-1 status. It will achieve this by using the proceeds of a corporate bond that it traded on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on June 30, Business Daily reported.

Mbithi is the bank’s managing director and CEO. She was appointed in February 2019.

In a statement on the NSE, Mbithi said: “We target to be in every county though we recognize that it’s not a determinant to being a tier-1 or II bank.” 

The move came in June after the bank raised Ksh 4.42 billion ($39 million) against a Ksh 3-billion ($27.8 million) target in its issued bond, with a 5.5-year maturity tenure. 

The 147.3-percent oversubscription was raised by local fund managers, banks, retail investors, insurance companies and other institutional investors.

According to Mbithi, the capital raised will be used to support the bank’s digitization, which will help grow and scale out customer numbers, strengthen the balance sheet to increase lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises and finance its entry into regional markets.

Family Bank will use the funds to increase its branch network from the 92 existing outlets in 37 counties. 

It also plans to expand its presence and consumer base as it considers public placement. This is because the Capital Market Authority of Kenya has allowed the bank to take from investors the Ksh3 billion ($27.8 million) approved for the first bond tranche and an extra Ksh1 billion ($9.3 million) offered by the same pool of investors as a greenshoe option.*

Family Bank is a tier-II capital, or medium-sized, commercial bank in Kenya founded in 1984. It became a commercial bank in 2007 following the issuance of a banking license by the Central Bank of Kenya.

As of 2017, its total assets were valued at KSh 69.12 billion ($696 million at the time).

*A greenshoe option allows a group of investment banks that underwrite an initial public offering (IPO) to buy and offer for sale 15-percent more shares at the same offering price than the issuing company originally planned to sell.

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