Largest Companies in Africa: Top 30

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.

1. Sonatrach
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

3. Sonangol
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.

5. Eskom
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.

6. Sasol
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 15,432 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.

11. SPAR Group
Spar Group Company is a public independent company that offers field marketing services and retail merchandising and is located in South Africa with an annual worldwide turnover of €34.5 billion (2017 estimate). It has a branch in Tanzania, located in the Eastern part of Africa and its headquarters located in White Plains, New York. Spar group was founded in 1932 and has about 329 employees in Africa. The CEO & President is Christian M. Olivier. It has its top competitor as RMA company, headed by Phil Lamers, the President. Spar Group’s IPO date was released on Feb 1996 and has 78 approval ratings from Owler Members.

12. Massmart Holdings
This is a South African based management group. It is the second largest consumer goods distributor in Africa. It has over 517 buying group members with operation in 13 countries of the Sub-Saharan Africa. Massmart Holdings has been listed on the main board of Johannesburg Stock Exchange in the retail sector for consumer services. It has an annual revenue of R91.564 billion (2016 estimate) and was founded in 1990 starting with the purchase of 6 Makro stores. It’s headquarters is located in Sandton, South Africa. Massmart Holdings does not have any international presence. The CEO of Massmart Holdings is Guy Howard.

13. The Bidvest Group South Africa
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$15.1B (2016 estimate) in revenue annually. The Bidvest Group competes with Prolog Projects.

14. Sanlam
Sanlam is a public company that has its headquarters in Belleville, Western Cape. It was founded in 1918 as a life insurance company and had Ian Kirk as its CEO. It has about 21,000 employees and operates both inside and outside Africa, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland, Uganda, Ghana, India, Malaysia, Mozambique, The company’s annual revenue is 6.311 billion USD (2015 estimate). Sanlam has been listed on the Namibian and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It has expertise in areDuring the financial year that ended in wills, short term insurance, risk management, investment, financial planning, trusts, retirement annuities and wealth.

15. Naspers
Naspers is a public media company that was founded on the 12th May, 1915 by Jannie Marais abs W.A. Hofmeyr with KoosBekker as the chairman and Bob van Dijk as the CEO of Naspers. It has its headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa with an annual revenue of R73.1 billion (2015 estimate). It offers services in 130 countries around the world. Its main operations are entertainment, e-commerce, gaming, and internet communication. Naspers has been designated to be amongst the Top 10 index over the past couple of years. It is served on a global scale and is traded on the JSE and NPN.

16. Datatec
Datatec is a public media company that was founded in 1986 with its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has over 8000 employees with Jens Montanana as the CEO and founder. The company has an annual revenue of over US$ 5 billion, It is usually referred to as Datatec Group or Datatech Limited. It is traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with operation in over 50 countries across six continents in the world. The major divisions of Datatec Group are IT solutions and managed services provider, Westcon international, DBA Westcon-Comstor along with Analysis Mason and Datatec Financial services which provide media and technology consulting services, telecommunications and financing.

17. Vodacom Group
Vodacom Group is a public mobile communications company located in South Africa. It was founded in 1994 by Alan Knott-Craig (Senior). It has its headquarters in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. It has all its operations within Africa. It operates in countries like the DRC, Tanzania, Lesotho, and Mozambique and includes business services for customers in 32 countries all across Africa. Some of the countries are Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Cameroon. It has about 7,554 employees and an annual revenue of R86.370 billion (US$6.48 billion, 2018 estimate). It is currently the leading cellular network in South Africa with a market share estimate is 58%.

18. Pick n Pay Stores Group
Pick n Pay is a public retail store in South Africa. It is the second largest supermarket chain store and was founded in 1967 by Jack Goldin. It has its headquarters in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa and a total of over 54,400 employees. It has an annual revenue of US$4.07 Billion (2015 estimate). Pick n Pay is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Gareth Ackerman is the Executive Chairman and Richard Brasher as the CEO. It operates only within the boundaries of Africa and has an international presence in Aspley, Queensland, and in Sunnybank Hills, Queensland, Australia. It operates in countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia.

19. Engen Petroleum
Engen petroleum is a public South African company whose main focus is on downstream refined petroleum products and business that are related to that sector. It was founded in 1881. After being part of Mobil Oil up until 1990, it changed its brand name to Engen in 1993. It operates within Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. It is present in 17 counties and exports crude products to over more than 47 countries. It has about 3, 485 employees and annual revenue of R70 033 million (2017 estimate). It is traded as JSE and Botswana Stock Exchange and is part of the BSE Domestic Company Index.

20. Suez Canal Authority
Suez Canal Authority is a governmental agency that was formed in 1956, and is owned, controlled and maintained by the state authority. It has its headquarters located in Ismailia and was set up by Egypt when they wanted to replace the Suez Canal Company. The SCA is majorly responsible for the maintenance and functional operation of the Suez Canal, the traffic safety and all other matters that relate to the canal. It has 114 ferry connections with 36 ferry boats. There’s a hospital located in Ismailia with emergency hospitals located at the two ends of the canal. During the financial year that ended in 2016, the company recorded a turnover of US$5 billion

21. Sappi
Sappi Limited, South African Pulp and Paper industry limited, is a public pulp and paper company located in South Africa with a lot of operations around the world. It is traded as SAP & SPPJY. It was founded in 1936 with about 12,800 employees. It has its headquarters located at Johannesburg, South Africa with Stephen Robert as his Binnie as his CEO. It produces the world’s largest number of dissolving wood pulp. Sappi produces and sells chemical cellulose, pulp, paper products and timber forest products both for the Southern Africa market and export markets. The company has a turnover of R83.69billion and 12650 employees During the financial year that ended in 2018.

22. Woolworths Holdings
Woolworths Holdings Limited is a South Africa based corporation which specializes in multinational retailing. It was founded in 1931 by Max Sonnenberg and had its headquarters located at 93, Longmarket Street, Cape Town, South Africa. It offers services in areas such as Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Australia, and New Zealand. It has a very strong international presence but is no way related to the Australian Wordsworth supermarket chain. It has about 46,000 employees with an annual turnover of R69.31billion (2018 estimate). Woolworths Holdings consists of home, fashion and beauty stores, it also offer food retailing.

23. Barloworld
Barloworld Limited was founded in 1902 by Ernest Billy Barlow in South Africa. It has its headquarters located at Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. It moved from being a conglomerate of many businesses like mining, building materials, motor vehicles, and information technology to being an industrial brand management company. It has about 19,745 employees and an annual turnover of R62.0 billion (2017 estimate). It is a major distribution company for international brands. It provides fleet management, integrated rental, logistics solutions, and product support.

24. Transnet
Transnet is a state-owned enterprise that was founded in 1990 as a limited company. It is a very big South African port, rail and pipeline company with its headquarters in Johannesburg, at the Carlton Center. It has 49,078 employees and an annual turnover of R72,9 billion (2018 estimate). Transnet has about for business units which are: Transnet National Ports Authority, Transnet Pipelines, Transnet Rail Engineering- rolling stock and Transnet Freight Rail. It’s the main product is freight logistics and has P. Molefe as the Chairperson of the Board and T. Morwe as the Acting Chief Operating Officer.

25. Vodacom South Africa
Vodacom South Africa was incorporated in 1993 in South Africa and largely referred to as a South African establishment, Vodacom South Africa is a household name in the country. With a focus on Telecomms, they provide voice, messaging, data and converged services, satisfying an estimated figure of customers ranging about 55 million. Vodacom covers the majority of Africa (in terms of the number of countries covered) with operations in Tanzania, Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho, and over 32 other African countries. Its annual turnover stands at R 87.08billion (2018 estimate). The company is jointly owned by Telkom, another African telecommunication giant and Vodafone at a 50/50 ratio.

26. Anglo American Platinum Corporation
Anglo American Platinum Corporation is the world’s largest producer of natural platinum. The company was incorporated in 1946. Annually they are responsible for nearly thirty-eight percent (38%) of the world’ platinum supply. The conglomerate is based in South Africa; having its major operations run in what is called the Bushveld Igneous Complex in Johannesburg. It is on record that the company utilizes an environment rich in not just platinum but also other substances like chromium, vanadium, titaniferous magnetite and other metals in the platinum group metals, the company is owned by a corporation called Anglo America and records an annual turnover of R74.58billion (2018 estimate). During the financial year that ended in 2018, the company had 24790 employees.

27. Anglo Gold Ashanti
AngloGold Ashanti is a company globally recognized for the mining of gold. The company was incorporated in 1944 and it ranks as the third largest producer of gold in the world.
The company globally produces gold with a minimum of twenty-one activities on four continents. The company has it name on the stock exchanges of the following countries, the New York, Johannesburg, Accra, London and Australian stock exchanges, alongside the Paris and Brussels bourses. The company recorded a turnover of R55.99billion During the financial year that ended in 2018. The company has 5148 active employees on its payroll

28. Office Chérifien des Phosphates
Office Chérifien des Phosphates abbreviated as OCP, Office des Phosphate is a Moroccan company founded n 1920. The company is one of the leaders in the exporting of phosphate rock, phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers world over. With a staff strength of nearly over 20,000 employees which predominantly work from four strategically located sites within Morocco, alongside other international sites, the company records an annual turnover of US$4.2 billion. The Group plays an important role in the economic structuring of Morocco, where the value of phosphates and their derivatives represented nearly a quarter of the country’s GDP and exports trading. OCP has a presence in other African countries like, Nigeria, Rwanda and beyond the African border in Switzerland.

29. Orascom Construction Industries
Orascom Construction Industries is rated as Egypt’s first multinational corporation, the Construction Industries is into engineering, machine procurement and general creating with an active presence in more than 25 countries world over. The company is owned by OnsiSawiris and was established in 1950. The company has a turnover of US$ 4.03 Billion (2016).

30. SABMiller South Africa
SABMiller South Africa is a multinationa brewing and Beverage Company. It has its headquarters in England. It was purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Before then, it was the world’s second-largest beer maker measured by revenues (after Anheuser-Busch InBev) and was also a major bottler of Coca-Cola. It is on record that its brands cut across Fosters, Miller, and Pilsner Urquell. SABMiller had presence in different countries and was recorded to have sold 21 billion liters of beverages in 2009. It records an annual turnover of US$3.8 billion.

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