Founded1998 (as Lonrho Africa plc)
HeadquartersLondon, W1
United Kingdom
RevenueIncrease £ 206.5 Million (2013)
Total assetsDecrease £ 328.5 Million (2013)
Number of employees
3,415 (2013)

Lonrho is a London-based conglomerate that was established in 1998 as Lonrho Africa plc. It is engaged in multiple business sectors in Africa, mainly agribusiness, infrastructure, transport, hospitality and support services.[1]


Lonrho traces its roots to the original Lonrho plc (now Lonmin), a company which was incorporated in the United Kingdom on 13 May 1909[2] as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Limited.[3] Lonrho plc grew to be one of the world's largest companies, with over 800 subsidiary companies in 80 countries.[2]

One previous CEO of Lonrho plc was the controversial Tiny Rowland (1917–1998), a corporate raider who ran the firm from 1962 to 1993. Scholars have noted that while he may have been the "unacceptable face of capitalism", in the words of Edward Heath, Lonrho plc actually worked in tandem with the British government in protecting British business interests in Africa after independence.[4]

The current company named Lonrho was formed on 26 February 1998[5] as a spin-off of Lonmin (at the time called "Lonrho plc"),[6] and it was first known as Lonrho Africa plc.[7] The demerger transferred all non-mining African assets to the separate publicly listed Lonrho Africa plc,[8] while Lonrho plc (now Lonmin) retained the mining businesses. Lonrho Africa plc subsequently changed its name to Lonrho plc on 10 May 2007, following the approval of shareholders.[9]

Lonrho was one of the funding partners in low-cost airline Fastjet, operating in Africa.[10] This was after they exchanged their stake in Fly 540 for shares in Rubicon Diversified Investments plc, which was renamed Fastjet in August 2012.[11]

In 2013, Lonrho plc was delisted from the LSE, JSE and OTCQX after agreeing to a £174.5 million takeover by FS Africa,[12][13] a bid vehicle controlled by Swiss billionaire Thomas Schmidheiny and Rainer-Marc Frey.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ "Lonrho Plc's Strategy & Vision". Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "1988 - Directory of the World's Largest Companies: Lonrho PLC - Corporate Information" (PDF). The United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. ^ Page, Melvin E., ed. (2003). Colonialism: an International Social, Cultural and Political Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. pp. 350–351. ISBN 1-57607-335-1.
  4. ^ Uche, Chibuike (2015). "Lonrho in Africa: The Unacceptable Face of Capitalism or the Ugly Face of Neo-Colonialism?". Enterprise & Society. 16 (2): 354–380. doi:10.1017/eso.2014.31.
  5. ^ "Market Access Profile - Lonrho Plc" (PDF). S&Q Capital IQ. McGraw Hill Financial. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Lonmin plc History". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 66. St. James Press, 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Lonrho plc / Lonrho Africa plc / Lonmin plc - Fact sheet" (PDF). Share View. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Lonmin - 2012 Rights Issues" (PDF). Lonmin Plc. 11 December 2012. p. 156. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Lonrho plc / Lonrho Africa plc / Lonmin plc" (PDF). Equiniti. February 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Lonrho departs fastjet's share register". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Fastjet plc 2013 Annual Report" (PDF). Fastjet plc. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  12. ^ Osborne, Alistair (15 May 2013). "Lonrho bows out after sale to Swiss investors for £175m". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Thomas Eggar acts for Lonrho Plc in £170m takeover and de-listing from Stock Exchange deal". Thomas Eggar. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Takeovers" (PDF). Investors Chronicle. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  15. ^ Allix, Mark (15 May 2013). "FS Africa to buy Lonrho for £175m". Business Day Live. Retrieved 6 December 2014.