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Aliko Dangote: Dangote Refinery Set to Commence Operations, Eyes 350,000 Barrels Daily

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Dangote and Akinwumi

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Aliko Dangote, the President and CEO of the Dangote Group, announced that the long-anticipated $20 billion Dangote Refinery in Lekki, Lagos, is set to commence operations by refining 350,000 barrels per day.

Dangote revealed that a deal had been secured for the delivery of the first cargo of approximately 6 million barrels in December 2023.

He expressed confidence that the refinery could achieve its full capacity of 650,000 barrels per day by the end of 2024.

The Dangote Refinery, touted as the world’s largest “single train” facility with a singular distillation unit, is expected to significantly reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported fuel and save billions in foreign exchange.

Dangote lamented the irony that Nigeria, a major oil producer for over 50 years, has struggled to refine its own crude adequately.

However, the project, which has faced delays and exceeded its budget by about $8 billion, has not been without challenges.

Dangote dismissed doubts about the refinery’s efficiency, stating that the challenges encountered during the project could have jeopardized his business empire.

He acknowledged being under intense pressure, facing allegations of underhand business practices and gaining unfair access to foreign exchange, which he vehemently denied.

Despite these challenges, Dangote expressed gratitude for overcoming the hurdles and reaching the destination.

The refinery is expected to generate substantial revenue, and plans are underway to eventually list it as a separate company on the Lagos stock exchange.

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Merger and Acquisition

EnjoyCorp Limited Secures Strategic Acquisition of Champion Breweries Plc

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Champion Breweries

EnjoyCorp Limited, a conglomerate known for its ventures in food, beverage, and hospitality, has successfully secured a strategic acquisition deal with Heineken B.V.

The agreement entails EnjoyCorp acquiring 100% of Heineken’s shareholding in The Raysun Nigeria Company Limited, which holds an 86.5% stake in Champion Breweries Plc, a prominent regional brewer listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.

Heineken will extend its support to Champion Breweries for a year post-acquisition, ensuring a seamless transition of ownership.

This acquisition marks EnjoyCorp’s strategic entry into the beverage sector, aligning with its vision of catering to the diverse tastes of the African consumer market.

By integrating Champion Breweries as an anchor subsidiary, EnjoyCorp aims to strengthen its foothold in the industry.

EnjoyCorp, known for its mission to enrich life’s moments through quality brands and sustainability, sees this acquisition as a pivotal step in its journey toward transformative growth.

With a focus on innovation and community engagement, EnjoyCorp endeavors to inspire consumers to cherish life’s moments responsibly.

The acquisition underscores EnjoyCorp’s commitment to shaping the future of the beverage industry in Africa.

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Apple’s Ambitious Electric Car Effort Comes to an End, Stock Rises

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inside apple company

Apple Inc. has announced the termination of its decade-long effort to develop an electric car, marking the end of one of the company’s most ambitious projects.

The decision was disclosed internally on Tuesday, surprising nearly 2,000 employees involved in the project, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Vice President Kevin Lynch, who spearheaded the effort, informed staff that the project would wind down.

Many employees from the car team, known as the Special Projects Group, will transition to Apple’s artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea, focusing on generative AI projects.

The news brought a sense of relief to investors, with Apple’s stock climbing approximately 1% to $182.63 at the close of trading in New York.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., also celebrated the decision, signaling approval with a post on social media.

The end of the electric car project, named Project Titan, is a significant shift for Apple, which initially aimed to produce a fully autonomous electric vehicle with advanced features.

However, the endeavor faced challenges from its inception, including leadership changes and strategic shifts.

Despite investing substantial resources and talent, Apple found itself grappling with a cooling market for electric vehicles, sluggish sales growth, and manufacturing hurdles.

The company explored various designs and tested self-driving technology extensively but ultimately struggled to achieve breakthroughs in the competitive automotive industry.

Apple’s decision underscores its strategic shift towards prioritizing generative AI projects over automotive ventures.

While the end of the electric car project marks a notable chapter in Apple’s history, it signifies the company’s adaptability and focus on areas with long-term profitability potential.

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Company News

Olam Group’s Second-Half Earnings Rise 15.5%, Share Price Jumps 10%

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Olam

Olam Group Ltd., a prominent agricultural trader, reported an improvement in its second-half performance following a report of an ongoing investigation in Nigeria.

The company disclosed that its earnings soared by 15.5% to S$230.8 million ($172 million) in the six months ending in December as announced in a recent exchange filing.

Despite facing challenges throughout the year, including high borrowing costs and operational hurdles, Olam Group posted double-digit growth across various metrics in the latter half of the year.

The substantial improvement in earnings has buoyed investor confidence, reflecting optimism about the company’s resilience and capacity to navigate challenging market conditions.

The company’s share price rose by 10% during Singapore trading.

However, Olam Group’s full-year net income experienced a sharp decline, plummeting by 56% to S$278.7 million.

The company attributed this downturn primarily to high interest rates, which resulted in a significant increase in net finance costs amounting to S$401.9 million.

Olam Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Sunny Verghese, expressed optimism about the future, anticipating a decrease in interest rates in the latter part of 2024.

Also, the company announced plans to launch a share buyback program, signaling its belief that the group is currently undervalued in the market.

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