Billionaire scion Jonathan Oppenheimer takes over Nigeria’s leading can manufacturing company

Oppenheimer Partners Ltd. bought the shares it didn’t own in GZ Industries Ltd. from Affirma Capital, formerly known as Standard Chartered Private Equity, according to a statement from Affirma on Thursday, which didn’t disclose financial details.

The private equity firm had a 37.5% stake in the supplier of cans to companies including Coca-Cola Co, Bloomberg reported.

The acquisition positions Oppenheimer, whose family played a significant role in founding mining giant Anglo American Plc and transforming De Beers into the world’s largest diamond producer, to influence GZI’s expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Urban-educated adults in the region have the highest consumption of sugary drinks globally, with an average of 12.4 servings per week, according to research published by Nature Communications.

Oppenheimer Partners initially invested in GZI in 2018 during the construction of a South African factory, where the company now commands a market share of about 20%. GZI, engaged in competition with the loss-making Nampak Ltd., has been strategically selling assets and restructuring debt. Affirma first entered the scene by investing in GZI in 2012.

Notably, GZI boasts an annual production of 3 billion aluminium cans within the African market.

Affirma has invested in 11 African companies since 2008 and has successfully completed exits from eight of them, delivering returns exceeding $800 million to investors.

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The Oppenheimer family has a combined net worth of $9.4 billion, largely through the 2012 sale of their stake in De Beers for about $5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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