This is the first time Danjuma’s net worth would be made public. His $1.2 billion net worth amounts to N432 billion in the Nigerian currency.
According to Bloomberg’s latest report, Danjuma owns not less than 30 properties worldwide some of which include hotels, luxury apartments, and others.
Bloomberg said in the report that Danjuma had also acquired the ‘Kings Arms Hotel’, a 300-year-old inn next to London’s Hampton Court Palace, once the home of King Henry VIII.
It’s set to open soon after refurbishment, with rooms costing about 250 pounds ($318) a night. The report partly reads:
“In this most English of settings, it’s fitting the owner is a retired military man still referred to as “General.” But for Theophilus Danjuma, this is just one investment in a network of assets that span at least three continents.
“The 80-year-old Nigerian is worth $1.2bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with his family office managing a portion of that wealth, often through low-key holdings such as the 14-room hotel.”
Hannatu Gentles, the second daughter of the retired general, confirmed to Bloomberg in an interview that the property was indeed bought by the family and would bear the ‘Danjuma’ name. She said they paid 2.4m pounds (N1.09bn) for the hotel.
Gentles said redevelopment work was expected to end in March, filings show, but the inn’s age and protected status resulted in higher costs and delays.
“This is the first, and will possibly be the last, listed building we’ve worked on,” Gentles said. “It’s taken longer than we wanted, but our name is attached to the building and we want to be proud of our work. It’s been a hard slog.”
Danjuma’s new venture is far removed from civil war and deepwater oil fields, the spheres where he amassed his power and fortune.
Born in 1938, Danjuma made his fortune from the Nigerian oil sector. He was reportedly awarded an oil block by the military government.
The retired Army General was said to have dropped out of college in 1960 to join the Nigerian security organization where he gained prominence after allegedly participating in the 1966 counter-coup against Nigeria’s first military dictator.
He retired from the Nigerian Army in 1979 and founded an oil and shipping company which currently has over 2,000 workers.
A decade later, he was stepping out of a Rolls-Royce in central London to meet British military officials in his role as chief of staff for Nigeria’s army.
Danjuma paid $25m in 1998 for the oil field exploration license that made him a billionaire. A year later, he became Nigeria’s defence minister as the country returned to democracy.
He originally teamed up with Total SA and Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA on the block. The minority stake that Danjuma’s company now owns is worth $450m, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index.
“Beyond the UK, they own real estate in California and have bought and sold property in Singapore. Their family office also oversees private equity investments, trust funds and a venture capital arm that backs family-run art and film companies. The Danjumas own more than 30 properties worldwide, filings show,” the report stated.
Danjuma’s daughter noted that her father bought a residence in Singapore years ago, “and it made sense then to buy some more,” she said, adding they’ve since sold the properties because of tax law changes.
“We invest in real estate in other jurisdictions, but in the UK we always thought let’s stick to areas that we know,” she added.
In addition to the Kings Arms Hotel, the Danjumas have developed residential properties this year in Esher and Wimbledon. They also own a boutique hotel in Lagos, serving beef carpaccio and lobster bisque in one of three dining areas and displaying works from the family’s art firm.