Africa's Richest Woman Isabel Dos Santos Proposes Merger Of Millennium, BPI
Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos has reportedly proposed a merger between Banco BPI and Millennium bcp – two of Portugal’s largest listed banks, less than a month after Caixabank of Spain launched a takeover bid for BPI.
According to a report by Reuters, Dos Santos recently sent a letter to the CEOs of Banco BPI, Millennium and Caixabank, where she outlined her proposal in detail and urged them to consider her suggestion.
In February, Caixabank, which is the largest shareholder in BPI with a 44.1% stake, launched a takeover bid for BPI. Caixabank, Spain’s 3rd largest lender by market value, offered to buy the remaining 55.9% it doesn’t own from BPI’s shareholders for a cash consideration of $1.24 billion or $1.49 per share in cash.
Dos Santos, 41, is the second largest shareholder in BPI with an 18.6% stake. Her new proposal could be an indication that she is not interested in disposing of her stake just yet. A source who spoke to Reuters believes that her stake in the bank is not simply a financial holding but a strategic one. Caixabank needs to win the support of two thirds of BPI’s shareholders for the bid to succeed and Dos Santos’ support is crucial.
Isabel Dos Santos
Angola’s richest woman maintains close ties and business interests in Portugal, her country’s former colonial master. She owns close to 7% of oil and gas firm Galp Energia (along with Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim) and a controlling stake in Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS (formerly called Zon). Late last year, she made a $1.5 billion bid for Portugal Telecom (PT) SGPS SA, a company that owns a 25.7% stake in Brazilian telecom operator Oi, Her bid was an attempt to scuttle a bid French telecoms company Altice made for Portugal Telecom’s operations. She later withdrew the bid after the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) ruled that she had to raise the offer price.
Of the 1,826 people who made it to the 2015 FORBES list of the World’s Billionaires, 11 of them are black, up from 9 a year ago.
Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote is still the richest black person in the world, with a fortune estimated at $15.7 billion. He is followed by Saudi-Ethiopian construction magnate Mohammed Al-Amoudi, who is worth $10.8 billion.