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Dangote to step down as Chairman of cement firm

Apr, 04 2012


(Nigeria) -- Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has hinted that he will step down from the company next year if his plan to list the $11 billion cement business on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) succeeds.

The industrialist told the Financial Times (FT) that the move would also loosen his personal control over the company, specifically saying that he intends to free-float 20 per cent stake in Dangote Cement Plc to finance its rapid expansion.

He also indicated that Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan had been appointed as co-leads for the London share issue.

The plan, if successful, would become the first listing of one of Dangote’s companies outside the country.

He also said the company was on track to meet the stringent corporate governance requirements for a premium listing, insisting that he would give up his current role as chairman.

“We want to list in London next year. By then the upside to our business will be much bigger than today. My plan is to have different faces (on the board). The face of the chairman will not be Aliko Dangote, it will be somebody else, a professional who is well-respected within investment circles.” he said.

Already the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa – Dangote Cement, is more than doubling capacity this year to 21m metric tonnes, and wants to reach 43 in metric tonnes in 2015.

Besides Nigeria, where it has three plants and 70 per cent market share, the company has contracts to construct factories in eight African countries, from Senegal to South Africa to Ethiopia.

Dangote Cement’s net profit in 2011 is expected to be about $790 million and revenue of about $1.5 billion, according to guidance filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Dangote, whose net worth is $12 billion according to Forbes, also said he wants to quadruple profits within four years and turn the business into the world’s most profitable cement company.

The FT said: “The expansion comes at a time of fast growth in Africa, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasting that regional economies will expand by 5.75 per cent this year. This is boosting spending on infrastructure and housing and driving demand for cement.

“At the same time, Mr Dangote’s conglomerate, Dangote Group, is changing focus. It plans to sell 80 per cent stakes in its food business, which include salt, sugar, flour, rice and pasta.”

It also quoted Dangote to have said: “Besides cement, the group will concentrate on three other main sectors. The mining arm will focus on coal, iron and bitumen. The petrochemical business will produce methanol, polyethylene, and fertiliser.

“The infrastructure business plans to produce and sell 2,000MW of electricity in Nigeria – about half of the country’s current capacity – when power sector deregulation is completed, and to build a $1.5 billion port -the biggest deep-sea port in West Africa, near Lagos.”

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