Connect with us

East Africa

Ugandan multimillionaire Charles Mbire in high spirits as MTN IPO looms

MTN Uganda has been operating in Uganda since 1998 when it acquired a 20-year license.

Published

on

Ugandan multimillionaire Charles Mbire.

Ugandan tycoon Charles Mbire, the chairman of MTN’s operations in the East African country, is in high spirits as the telecom giant finalizes plans to list on the Ugandan Stock Exchange.

MTN Uganda announced earlier this week that it has received regulatory approvals to list 20 percent of its shareholding on the Kampala bourse, thereby making its shares available to retail investors from Kenya and other East African countries for the first time.

“The intention to float announcement is a major step towards delivering on our plan to list on the USE,” Mbire said in a press statement announcing the intention to list. “It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expand investment opportunities for Ugandans and we look forward to continuing our engagement with the CMA and USE to take forward the IPO and the listing.”

MTN’s listing on the Ugandan Stock Exchange is a victory for Mbire, who has been working behind the scenes to improve relations between the Ugandan government and the mobile telecom company. Relations between the government and the company have been tested over the past few years by a string of setbacks, including a delayed renewal of its operating license, the expulsions of its expatriate executives and a security raid on the company’s data center.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has often accused MTN of understating its revenues. In 2019, Uganda deported MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte less than a month after he assumed his position on accusations of compromising national security. There has also been resentment from the government toward the telecom over the paucity of Ugandans in top positions at the company.

When MTN’s 20-year license expired in October 2018, the firm applied for a 10-year extension and the Uganda Communications Commission granted it an interim renewal lasting 60 days pending resolution of a number of unspecified issues before a final license could be issued.

Following a prolonged negotiation with the government that dragged on for nearly two years, MTN Uganda finally reached an agreement to pay the Uganda Communications Commission $100 million for a 12-year license in Uganda valid from July 1, 2020.

An IPO was also one of the conditions for the renewal of the license.

MTN Uganda is the country’s largest telecom firm, with a subscriber base of 11 million.

The company contributed about 5 percent ($570 million) of the total revenue ($11 billionaire) of the MTN Group in 2020. MTN Uganda has been operating in Uganda since 1998 when it acquired a 20-year license. Mbire, a prominent businessman with interests in infrastructure, banking, agriculture and energy, is the company’s chairman and one of its largest shareholders.

East Africa

Kenyan multimillionaire banker James Mwangi loses nearly $5 million in 56 days as Equity Group shares retreat from 21-month high

Equity Group Holdings Limited is a leading financial services holding based in Nairobi.

Published

on

Kenyan multimillionaire banker James Mwangi.

Kenyan multimillionaire businessman James Mwangi has seen the market value of his stake in Equity Group Holdings decline by Ksh550 million ($4.96 million) in the past 56 days, as shares in the Kenya-based group retreated from a record 21-month high.

Equity Group Holdings Limited is a leading financial services holding headquartered in Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya.

Under the leadership of Mwangi, the holding has grown into one of the largest financial services groups in East Africa, operating through its subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in addition to its Kenyan operations.

As of press time, Oct. 22, shares in the Kenya-based financial services group were trading at KSh49.95 ($0.451) per share, 91-basis points higher than its opening price this morning.

In recent times, Equity Group has lost nearly eight percent of its market capitalization on the Nairobi bourse, as investors book profits after the share price surged to a record 21-month high of Ksh54.25 ($0.489) on Aug. 27.

Since Aug. 27, the group’s share price has declined from a price of Ksh54.25 ($0.489) to KSh49.95 ($0.451) as of the time of writing, accruing a loss of 7.5-percent for shareholders and insiders, such as Mwangi, who hold stakes in the financial services group.

As a result of the decline in the group’s share price, the market value of Mwangi’s stake has declined from Ksh6.93 billion ($62.55 million) to Ksh6.38 billion ($57.6 billion) between Aug. 27 and Oct. 22.

This translates to a loss of Ksh550 million ($4.96 million) for the multimillionaire banker in 56 days.

Continue Reading

East Africa

Kenyan mogul Julius Mwale offers $20 million to farmers to restore activity at Mumias Sugar

The funds will be used to kickstart sugarcane cultivation and sugar production.

Published

on

Kenyan mogul Julius Mwale.

Kenyan tech tycoon and Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) owner Julius Mwale has offered Ksh2.2 billion ($20 million) to farmers in an effort to restore sugarcane farming.

According to recent reports, Mwale said the funds will be used to provide farmers with capital to kickstart sugarcane cultivation and sugar production, and to boost the industry at large.

The capital commitment follows his successful Ksh27.6-billion ($249.31 million) bid made through his Tumaz & Tumaz Enterprise as part of a leasing tender to take control of Mumias Sugar over a 15-year period.

Mwale, who received a $200-million (Sh22.1 billion) loan commitment from a leading U.S. bank to strengthen his chances of taking home the lease, placed the highest bid from among eight bidders looking to assume control of the company, according to the receiver-manager, Ponangipali Rao.

His $249.31-million bid was higher than the Ksh8.4 billion ($75.9 million) that Devki Group owner Narendra Raval offered to take control of Mumias and the KSh3.5 billion ($31.61 million) that Kenyan businessman Jaswant Rai offered through his company, Rai Group.

Mwale’s $20-million commitment is expected to go to farmers who abandoned the Mumias plantation after the sugar-production company ran into a financial crisis three years ago.

In addition, Mwale disclosed that a sum of KSh2.2 billion ($20 million), Ksh887 million ($8 million) and Ksh221 million ($2 million) will be allocated, respectively, to revive two ethanol plants owned by the company, its power generation unit and its water-bottling plant.

Mwale also plans to allocate Sh2.2 billion ($20 million) each to build an airport, an agricultural research university, a sugar tourist resort, a housing project and a hospital at the Mumias complex.

Mwale is the president and CEO of SBA Technologies, a New York-based company founded in 2003.

He is also the lead investor in MMTC, a $2-billion community-owned sustainable metropolis with an extensive medical and technology complex that contains a shopping and residential unit, a golf resort and a convention center.

Continue Reading

East Africa

Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi gains $360 million in 21 days after losing $530 million between July and September

His $7.2-billion fortune is derived from closely held companies such as Preem, Svenska Petroleum and Midroc Europe.

Published

on

Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi.

Ethiopia-born billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi has recorded a $360-million boost in his net worth in the past 21 days after his wealth fell by $530 million between July and September.

The billionaire, whose real-time fortune of $7.2 billion is derived from closely held companies such as Svenska Petroleum, Midroc Europe (a construction and property group) and Preem (his most valuable asset), has seen his net worth increase by 5.26 percent since Sept. 29.

Data retrieved from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index revealed that his net worth has increased from $6.84 billion on Sept. 29 to $7.20 as of the time of writing, Oct. 21, owing to an increase in the valuation of his assets across Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.

This translates to a net worth gain of $360 million for the billionaire in the past 21 days.

Between July 28 and Sept. 29, his net worth fell from a valuation of $7.37 billion to $6.84 billion.

The recent increase in his net worth is linked to a revaluation of his equity interest in companies, and specifically his ownership interest in Svenska and Preem, the largest fuel company in Sweden, with an annual refining capacity of more than 18 million cubic meters of crude oil.

Recently, Pyrocell, a Preem subsidiary, announced that a biofuel plant producing pyrolysis is under way. This is in line with the group’s commitment to achieving large-scale renewables production.

The plant, which is located in Gavle, Sweden, will produce around 25,000 tonnes of non-fossil pyrolysis per year, which equates to the annual fuel consumption of 15,000 passenger vehicles.

Al-Amoudi’s net worth of $7.20 billion makes him the 387th richest man in the world behind U.S. businessman and investor Tom Gores, who is $20-million richer.

Continue Reading

Trending