Share |

FB Roundup: Mukesh Ambani, Vincent Bolloré, Jack Ma

In this week’s FB Roundup, Mukesh Ambani focusses his attention on green energy; Vincent Bolloré sells his African ports and logistics business to MSC; and Jack Ma surrenders control of China's Ant Group.
Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire chairman of Mumbai-based multinational Reliance Industries.

Mukesh Ambani focusses attention on green energy
After handing over operational reins to his three children, Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire chairman of Mumbai-based multinational Reliance Industries, has announced he is focusing his attention on the Indian conglomerate’s pivot to green energy.

After ensconcing his eldest son Akash as chairman of India’s biggest telecom operator, Reliance Jio, twin sister Isha as head of Reliance’s retail operations and youngest child Anant as Reliance’s energy unit leader, Asia’s second-richest man will now oversee strategy and infrastructure, including (according to sources) “The building of giga-factories and blue hydrogen facilities… He will also assess acquisition targets and is talking to potential investors.”

In 2022, the 65-year-old businessman revealed plans to spend $75 billion on clean energy projects over the next 15 years.

Reliance, which has a market value of $206 billion, has a 2035 target for turning carbon net zero and is actively seeking billions of dollars of investments in India’s energy sector.

“India’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables will provide an opportunity for Reliance’s continuous ‘hyper-growth’ over many decades,” Ambani told shareholders last summer as he committed $70 billion in an effort to become the world’s largest renewables player.

Vincent Bolloré sells African ports and logistics business to MSC
The holding company of French billionaire businessman Vincent Bolloré has officially finalised the sale of its African ports and logistics business to the global container shipping group MSC for $6.05 billion.

Bolloré Africa Logistics, a subsidiary of investment group Bolloré, has a presence in 47 out of 54 African countries and, according to its website, “Runs port operations in countries from the Ivory Coast to Cameroon and Nigeria.”

Following increased competition and costs, the Bolloré group decided to sell the business to the Italian French shipping giant MSC, which runs a fleet of 560 vessels worldwide.

Founded in 1822, the Bolloré Group is one of the 500 largest companies in the world with business interests across transportation and logistics, communication, electricity storage and systems.

“The Bolloré Group will remain strongly involved in Africa, notably through [media firm] Canal+ [of which the Bolloré Group holds 29.5% of the share capital of parent company Vivendi] and will also continue to develop on the continent its activities in many fields such as communications, entertainment, telecommunications and publishing,” said the company in a statement.

The move comes after Bolloré retired as head of the Bolloré group in early 2022, having handed over the chairman / chief executive reins to his 33-year-old son Cyrille, while remaining the controlling shareholder.

Jack Ma surrenders control of China's Ant Group
Billionaire businessman Jack Ma is to cede control of Ant Group, the Chinese fintech giant he founded, as part of a company-wide restructure.

“No shareholder, alone or jointly with other parties, will have control over Ant Group after the completion of the adjustment,” said the company in a statement revealing that Ma “Indirectly” controlled 53.46 per cent of Ant Group's shares.

“The adjustment is being implemented to further enhance the stability of our corporate structure and sustainability of our long-term development.”

The restructure comes after regulatory restrictions imposed by the Chinese government that halted Ant’s proposed $37 billion initial public offering (IPO) in late 2020 – what would have been a world record listing at the time. The government crackdown also hit Alibaba, the Chinese multinational tech company which Ma co-founded and formerly ran, with a record $2.75 billion fine for alleged “Unfair practices”.

“It’s obviously significant if [Jack Ma] is no longer the controlling shareholder,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of investment advisory firm BDA, Beijing, in an interview with News 18.

“This in theory should pave the way for an IPO assuming the other key issue – oversight/ownership of data – is also resolved. With the Chinese economy in a very febrile state, the government is looking to signal its commitment to growth, and the tech/private sectors are key to that as we know. At least Ant investors can [now] have some timetable for an exit after a long period of uncertainty.”

Following Ma’s removal from the company, Ant won approval to raise 10.5 billion yuan for its consumer finance arm

Click here >>