AFRICA: French industrial conglomerate Bolloré announced on December 21 that it had completed the sale to MSC Group of its Bolloré Africa Logistics business, including three railway concessions in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Bénin and Niger.

The sale was provisionally agreed in April 2022, following three months of exclusive negotiations. The Genève-based shipping group has taken over all of the Bolloré Group transport and logistics activities in Africa with a total enterprise value of €5·7bn. The sale price is made up of €5·1bn for 100% of the share capital and €600m for the repayment of shareholder loans.

Reporting an annual turnover of €2∙1bn, Bolloré Africa Logistics has around 21 000 employees in 49 countries. It operates in 42 African ports, managing 16 container terminals handling around 4∙8 million TEUs a year, plus seven ro-ro and two timber terminals.

Of the three railway concessions, Sitarail operates between Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Kaya in Burkina Faso, handling about 200 000 passengers and 900 000 tonnes of freight a year. Camrail has about 1 000 km of route in Cameroon, including lines from Douala to Kumba, Yaoundé and to Ngaoundéré. These carry 1∙8 million tonnes of freight and 1∙6 million passengers per year. Bénirail operates the 500 km line in Bénin linking Parakou with the port of Cotonou and is also responsible for the 143 km railway between Niamey and Dosso in Niger.