December 6, 2022

Fitch, one of the world’s rating agencies, published an overview of Business Magnate Aliko Dangote and his empire Dangote Industries Limited (DIL). The report, amongst other things, highlighted the corporate governance of the conglomerate, predicted its future, and exposed the realities of ongoing projects.

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One of the talking points of the report is Dangote Refinery, a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil facility undergoing construction in the Lekki area of Lagos State. Unfortunately, for reasons that cannot be justified, Fitch painted a narrative that the African richest man, who pioneered the project that is set to re-engineer Nigeria’s economy and trading reality, lacks the willpower to complete the project.

The rating agency was interpreted to have erroneously published that Dangote, a powerhouse in the global economy, doesn’t have the financial capability to float the refinery before the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari ends as he promised.

Maliciously, Dangote, whose footprints in different sectors of the economy is evident in and outside the shores of Nigeria, was said to have invested all his money in the project. Hence, he has gone broke.
Here’s the fact….

As highlighted by MoneyCentral, Dangote Cement Plc (DCP), the flagship company of DIL, is a significant contributor to the parent firm’s consolidated profile.

The company is supported by large-scale operations in Nigeria and Pan-Africa. In 2021, DCP’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization or EBITDA contribution to DIL stood above 90%.
In 2021, revenues from cement sales in all its operations (Nigeria and the rest of Africa) rose by 34% and amounted to N1.383 trillion. After paying taxes and making other expenses Dangote Cement reported profit of N346.4 billion.

Fitch Ratings forecasts that Dangote’s cement business will average $1.1 billion per annum in EBITDA between 2022 and 2025, making it one of the most profitable cement firms in the world. And interestingly, DIL owns 85.8% of Dangote Cement.

Due to the expected free cash flows from the cement operations, Dangote cement stock which are listed on the Nigeria Exchange Limited, are valued at 14 times earnings, for a market capitalization of N5.11 trillion. What this means is that from just one of his firms (Dangote Cement), the billionaire is liquid to the tune of N4.38 trillion (representing DIL’s 85.8% ownership).

Why the proposed $750m bond is pertinent
According to Fitch, Dangote has concluded plans to raise $750 million through bonds. This, as interpreted by financial illiterates, means he has lavished all his resources on the project; hence, raising bonds because he’s broke.

This writer understands that every corporation requires money to fund an acquisition, seek and produce a new product, or explore new markets. While many firms resolve to borrow money to finance their efforts, others have the myth and affluence to raise their capital through bond issuing.

Amongst other reasons, a benefit of issuing bonds is that the corporation does not give away ownership interests. Stocks change ownership when a corporation sells them, but bonds do not.

Upshot

Looking at his liquid in the cement industry alone, only jokers and fake news merchants will hold to the knowledge that Dangote is broke.

Dangote who saw his wealth portfolio, according to Forbes, increased from $12.1 billion last year to an estimated $13.9 billion this year (2022) in spite of the fact that he was developing a Fertiliser plant and Dangote Petrochemical Complex, prides himself as an erudite investor in manufacturing, and food industries.

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