Dangote Cement, owned by Africa’s richest man, has revived plans for a share sale in London that could raise about $1bn, according to people who asked not to be named as the talks were not public.The Nigerian company, controlled by Aliko Dangote, has approached investment bankers to discuss a potential UK listing. Once banks have been appointed, it will probably take at least five months to complete the process. The cement maker is also considering issuing a debut Eurobond.
Discussions are ongoing and a listing of Africa’s biggest cement maker might not go ahead, the people said.”We have not, to the best of my knowledge, taken such a decision,” Anthony Chiejina, Dangote Cement’s spokesperson in Lagos, said in an e-mailed response to questions, without commenting on the banker talks.New capital would enable Dangote Cement to fund expansion plans in sub-Saharan Africa and broaden its base of investors. It sees London as a more favourable place to attract about $1bn than in its home base of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, where no company has raised more in an initial public offering than Starcomms’ $796m in 2008.
Dangote Cement has a free float in Lagos of 14.9% and a market valuation of $12.3bn. It mulled raising equity in London in 2010. At the time, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley helped it prepare a sale that could have raised as much as $5bn, before the move was abandoned.
The revival of the plan comes as Dangote Cement shares climb to near records as the Nigerian economy recovers from a downturn caused by the 2014 slump in oil prices. The economy of Africa’s most populous nation went into recession in 2016 as government revenue plunged. Nigerian stocks are up 11% in 2018 in dollar terms, the sixth-best performance globally according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Aliko Dangote has a net worth of $13.5bn, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index. His Dangote Industries conglomerate has interests in sugar, flour and packaged food as well as controlling the cement company. He is building a 650,000 barrel a day oil refinery near Lagos, which will cost more than $10bn.