June 30, 2022

Takeover of Bolloré Africa Logistics: why not an African company? | Africa | DW

It is on the Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC, a major player in container transport, that the Bolloré Group could choose to take over its logistics sector in Africa.

The Italian-Swiss shipowner offered the French group to buy back its logistics activities in Africa for 5.7 billion euros.

MSC has already sent on Monday (20.12.2021) an offer worth 5.7 billion euros to acquire 100% of Bolloré Africa Logistics.

The Italian-Swiss giant is already present in the ports of Lomé in Togo and San Pedro in Côte d’Ivoire, through its subsidiary Terminal Investment Group (TIL).

Why the choice of MSC?

The group will retain a significant presence in Africa, in particular through Canal +, the leading pay television operator in French-speaking Africa.

“There is the size dimension, the financial surface dimension and there is also the technical surface dimension. In terms of competence, in terms of expertise, in terms of the financial dimension, it is a company that is known worldwide”, explained the Guinean economist, Mamoudou Touré for whom, the choice of MSC is not a coincidence.

In the midst of a health crisis, Mamadou Touré believes that the logistics sector is too strategic for the Bolloré Group and the countries concerned to be able to cede it to an inexperienced structure lacking in resources.

“We run less risk by entrusting infrastructures as important as port infrastructures to companies which have established themselves in the street.”

In fact, Bolloré Africa Logistics employs more than 20,000 people in more than twenty countries in Africa and operates port terminals, warehouses and rail concessions.

And for the group, the subsidiary achieves a turnover of 2.1 billion euros out of a total of 24.1 billion.

Lack of political ambition

Long before the media, logistics and Africa made Vincent Bolloré's fortune.

Long before the media, logistics and Africa made Vincent Bolloré’s fortune.

When Mamadou Touré speaks of a lack of skills and financial resources, the Ivorian economist Sylvain Kocoin points to a lack of political ambition.

“Companies exist. But the principle is how do we promote these companies? Because at some point, we have to resort to the involvement of the State to give the boost It is not all in terms of financial means “, said Sylvain Kocoin.

In 2013, MSC invested in the Lomé terminal. It is one of the largest regional investments in port infrastructure, made with the support of donors such as the African Development Bank, Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency, and the German Development Bank. KFW.

Two years ago, the Italian-Swiss group announced another investment of nearly 500 million euros, still in favor of the port of Lomé.