|TAP Special| When state-owned Investment Corporation of Dubai announced last month that it was taking a minority stake in Nigeria’s largest cement manufacturer Dangote Cement for $300 million, it seemed like something coming out of the blue.
But things began to fall in place this week, when the African conglomerate’s chairman Aliko Dangote announced in Dubai that he was contemplating billions of dollars worth of investments in Dubai along with ICD.
Dangote, whose cement and commodities businesses built him a $23.1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index, partnered with the private-equity firms Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group in August for Africa investments. He plans to spend about $3 billion to boost production of sugar and rice at his companies, he said today.
Dangote’s cement business, the biggest producer in Africa, has the capacity to produce 29 million tons in Nigeria and plans to expand in 13 other countries on the continent.
“We have also agreed to invest in other other ventures in oil and agriculture,” Dangote said in an interview at a conference in Dubai. “They already have a seat on our board. This could run into billions of dollars. There are a lot of opportunities that we are looking at with ICD.”
“We are looking forward to doing more with Mr. Dangote, and we have some things that we are exploring at the moment,” ICD’s Al Shaibani said. “Having the right partner, especially in Africa, is the key thing,” he said.
The billionaire is bidding for gas assets in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, to help stem continuing disruptions to his cement plants in the West African nation. He is also building a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria’s southwest that is scheduled to be completed in 2016.