Football and fertiliser.
Already considered one of the wealthiest businessmen in the Middle East and Africa, Forbes has updated Nassef Sawiris’ net worth to a whopping $7.9 million this week – a huge jump from the $6.4 billion recorded just 5 months ago, in March of this year.
Forbes has pointed to two factors, the first being his majority ownership of English football club, Aston Villa, whose promotion to the Premiership in June has come with several financial benefits, including increased income through sponsorship and TV broadcasting deals. The new sources of income have been so impactful that the Birmingham-based club has spent over 100 million on new players – a huge figure for a club of its stature.
The second reason comes as part of a deal that is set to give rise to the largest producer and exporter of nitrogen fertilizer in the MENA region. Said deal will see Sawiris’ take OCI NV, the Dutch-listed parent of Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries, into partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
Sawiris now ranks as 252nd richest man in the world, and fourth richest in Africa.