In a recent survey by McKinsey Africa undertaken in 2018, they discovered 438 businesses with $1 billion of annual sales. Of this total 25% are subsidiary group companies of foreign domicile multinationals, 50% have a local origin, 40% are publicly listed, and 60% are privately owned. In this list we only provide a sample of the largest companies in Africa, with the sample ranked by size. There are more large companies based in Africa which are not listed here.
Sonatrach operates in the oil and gas sector of the economy of Algeria. It is owned by the Algerian government. This global oil giant corporation came into being in December 1963. Sonatrach has its headquarters in Hydra, Algiers, Algeria. During the financial year that ended in 2010, the company employed roughly 120,000 employees with a revenue of US$ 76.1 billion (2012 estimate). This company is the largest oil exploration company in Algeria and Africa as a whole. Globally, it is the 11th largest oil consortium. Annually, 30% of the GNP of Algeria comes directly from the company.
2. Steinhoff International
Bruno Steinhoff founded Steinhoff International in 1964. It is a company that manufactures, sources and retails furniture and household goods in Africa, Europe, and Australia. Also, the group owns diversified industrial businesses in southern Africa through supply chain solutions, passenger services, timber products, and manufacturing operations across diverse industries. During the financial year that ended in 2018, the company had more than 130,000 employees on its payroll. Steinhoff International has a revenue of 12.9 billion EUR (2017/18 – 9 months estimate). Steinhoff International competes with Tempur Sealy International, Sleep Number, and Simmons. It has its headquarters in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Sonangol was founded in 1976 to monitor the production of petroleum and natural gas in Angola. With headquarters in Luanda, Angola, Sonangol is proud to be the only company with representations in the whole country. It is owned by the government of Angola. The company also has offices in Asia, America, and Europe. Sonangol has won many awards for the sponsorship of arts, sports in Africa and the rest of Africa.
4. The Bidvest Group
The Bidvest Group Limited is a company that targets the foodservice, trading and distribution industries. Bidvest Group was founded by Brian Joffe in 1990. Bidvest Group owns 300 companies and engages in several business lines; including an automotive business, a commercial products business, banking, freight management, office, and print services, property investments, insurance and private security and facilities management of stadiums. The company has 130 877 employees on its payroll. The Bidvest Group has US$5.5B (2015 estimate) in revenue annually. The Bidvest Group competes with Prolog Projects.
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd operates in South Africa. The company provides electricity for South African citizens. The company was founded by Hendrik van der Bijl in 1923. An approximate of 95% of the electricity used in South Africa comes directly from Eskom Holdings while and 45% of the electricity used in Africa is being supplied by the same company. Eskom generates, transmits and distributes electricity to homes, industries, and redistributors. An estimated 49,000 employees work in the company. Eskom Holdings has US$15 billion (2018 estimate) in revenue annually. Eskom Holdings competes with Constellation Energy, Duke Energy Corporation, and Entergy Corporation. The company has its headquarters in Sunninghill, South Africa.
Sasol is an international integrated energy and chemical company. Sasol develops and commercialize technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of product streams, including liquid fuels, high-value chemicals, and low-carbon electricity. The company was founded in 1950. Sasol has 21.78 billion USD in revenue annually. Sasol competes with ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron Corporation. The company has 30,100 employees on its payroll. It has its headquarters in Sandton, South Africa.
7. MTN Group
The MTN Group formerly known as M-cell was established in 1994. The company involves in the provision of a wide range of communication services. The Company’s services include the provision of an internet network ( data and voice). MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications giants with a presence in Africa and the Middle East The headquarters is in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the financial year that ended in 2010, 17,510 employees were working in the company. In the 2015 financial statements, the company recorded a revenue of 15.43 billion USD. MTN is the largest network in Africa and the eleventh largest globally.
8. ShopRite Holdings
ShopRite Holdings are the largest supermarket retailer on the African continent. They are a business with a market capitalisation of about R96 billion, over 146 000 employees, thousands of stores and a network of distribution centres across 15 countries. The company recorded R141 billion in revenue for 2017. They serve local communities with the lowest price promise. Thirty-five million people shop in a footprint of more than 2,738 outlets every day. The company was founded in 1979. The company has its headquarters in Brackenfell, South Africa.
9. Imperial Holdings
Imperial Holdings Ltd located in Bedfordview, South Africa was founded in 1946. With established capabilities in transportation, warehousing, distribution and synchronisation management and expanding capabilities in international freight management, the business operates in specific industry verticals – consumer packaged goods, specialised manufacturing and mining, chemicals and energy, healthcare, automotive, machinery and equipment, and agriculture. They are a leading logistics provider across the entire supply chain – renown for driving innovation and continuous improvement. The company has 51,007 employees and a market capitalization of US$3.7B. Imperial Holdings has US$10.2B (2014 estimate) in revenue annually. Imperial Holdings competes with Barloworld Logistics, Super Group, and Hellmann Worldwide.
10. Bidford (Ex BidCorp)
Bidford Company is a tier of the Bidvest company that is involved in the agricultural line of business and is located in the Southern part of Africa, South Africa. It was added to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) list on Monday, 30th May, 2016. They have international presence in 4 continents. The company was founded in 1999 and has about 5,000 employees. It is an active company that has its headquarters located at Greater Detroit Area, Great Lakes and Midwestern US.