Nigeria’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has revealed his intentions to expand his Dangote Cement Company beyond Africa and into Myanmar and Iraq, among other countries.
The Nigerian billionaire, who is worth about $12.5 billion (based on FORBES’ calculation using Sept. 21 stock prices), recently disclosed during an interview with the Financial Times of London that construction work on Dangote Cement plants in Myanmar and Iraq could begin as early as next year. He also told the British newspaper that plans to construct cement plants in Brazil, Chile and Indonesia in the near future are underway.
Dangote Cement, which is already Africa’s largest cement company by annual production volume and market capitalization, is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy with plans to reach 100 million tons of output per year within the next five years. Of this figure, Dangote explained that as much as 60 million tons will come from the company’s investments outside Africa, hence the decision to hasten expansion on other continents.
On why he is choosing to invest outside Africa, particularly when several other opportunities are still largely unexploited, Dangote told the Financial Times that some opportunities – such as entering Myanmar as it opens up – may later disappear. The cement tycoon declared his intention to transform the Dangote Group into a truly global company.
“We want to globalize because the markets in sub-Saharan Africa are limited in terms of cement production, though not in terms of other sectors,” he said.
Dangote Cement was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2010 at a market capitalization of over $12 billion, and the cement giant is planning to list in London next year. Dangote says the money realized from the share sale would be channeled into its investments out of Africa