Cameroon – Victor Fotso: Is it true that billionaire sold groundnuts?

Written by Deckson N.

A legend has it that the billionaire Victor Fotso built his empire, at first, by selling groundnuts.

All false. In his book “Le chemin de Hiala” published in 1994, the businessman said that born in 1926 in Badjoun in the western province of Cameroon, he left school at 15 to work in Foumbot plantations and Bafang. At the time, the headlights crops were coffee, cocoa, tomato, but not groundnuts… In 1947, he moved to Mbalmayo where he opened a shopping center.

His business prospered, he diversifies after 1960 in transport. And in association with the French Pierre Castel, the boss of Breweries and international coolers (BGI) he involved in importing wines and spirits. A few years later, another French, Jacques Lacombe, then general manager of the Société industrielle et forestière des allumettes (SIFA), a subsidiary of the Midi company, opened the doors of industry for him. With the help of this polytechnic, disappeared in 1996, Victor Fotso gradually expand his activities.

Owner in 1970 of the book Company (SAFCA), he finds himself 25 years later, at the head of a dozen companies in the most diverse fields: electrical batteries (Pilcam), hotel (Ibis Douala), matches (Unalor and CIS), packaging (Fabasem), chemistry (Fermencam), agribusiness (Proleg), food (Sopral). In 1997, Victor Fotso created the Commercial Bank of Cameroon (CBC-Bank), the first independent financial institution in Cameroon.

Since the imprisonment of one he had placed at the head of his empire (Yves Michel Fotso jailed in December 2010 in a case of misappropriation of public funds), we have very little information on the group that displayed Fotso yet in 2008 with a turnover of 450 billion FCFA.

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Deckson N.

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