While there may have been some substance to the rumoured acquisition of pan-African e-commerce brand, Jumia by Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading tech conglomerate, the Zinox Group and to possibly merge it with Konga, there is currently no concrete interest to that effect.
This was revealed by Gideon Ayogu, Head of Corporate Communications, Zinox Group, in a virtual chat with newsmen.
Last week, a series of trending media reports in local and international media had suggested that a potential acquisition of Jumia by the Zinox Group may be on the cards, with rumours suggesting that Chairman, Zinox Group and Forbes Best of Africa leading tech icon, Leo Stan Ekeh, had been indirectly ramping up stakes in Jumia, preparatory to a takeover bid. The speculations had seen investors increase their buying interest in the firm which effectively contributed to shoring up the value of Jumia shares. It rose 14.8 percent last Friday, opening at $5.13 per share and closing at $5.89 per share and currently trading at a little under $7 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Ayogu has now addressed the acquisition rumours, disclosing that it must have been caused by a premature leak.
‘‘Truth is, there is no smoke without fire. The frenzy of media anticipation and rumours of a likely acquisition may not have been wrong but there must have been a leak somewhere and a misrepresentation of the core intention.
‘‘At the risk of sounding immodest, it is something that is certainly not impossible in a couple of years’ time but certainly not now, as the global tech economy will sweat a bit for the next 12 months. In a major development such as this, there must be first, an offer and an acceptance. But the leak came too early. I can confirm that there is currently no discussion at Board level on this and there is no urgent need for a Jumia acquisition,’’ he clarified.
On the impressive trajectory of Konga, a rival e-commerce firm acquired by the Zinox Group in 2o18 at an almost market-exit stage and which barely three years later has been transformed into a profitable entity, the first e-commerce brand to achieve the feat in Africa, Ayogu disclosed that a lot of investments is at present ongoing to further deepen its strong foothold in the market.
‘‘E-commerce globally is an expensive project. But I can confirm that Konga investors are not just passionate but are presently making huge investments across strategic verticals of the business.
‘‘With respect to Konga, it is an ambitious project for Africa and by those who understand Africa, so the management is taking one step at a time to build a true e-commerce company with capacity, global trust and respect.
‘‘Konga is today building a flourishing ecosystem of its own and with a vibrant mobile money platform to boot. I can assure you that we have a lot to announce within the next three months and you shall be appropriately informed and no speculations please,’’ he concluded.