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June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Didier Drogba, an Ivorian footballer and former striker for London’s Chelsea, bought a 5 percent stake in the Ity gold mine in Ivory Coast as part of a sale of state assets to a company led by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, a government official said.

Drogba, who won the European Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 and currently plays for Turkey’s Galatasaray, made the investment through a company called Didier Drogba Group, Bruno Kone, a government spokesman, said by phone today from Abidjan, the commercial capital. Drogba, 35, has served as the captain of Ivory Coast’s national soccer team, known as the elephants

Ivory Coast sold part of its holding in the mine to a group including Canadian miner La Mancha Resources Inc., Drogba’s company and other private investors, Kone said. Sawiris is the chairman of Montreal-based La Mancha.

La Mancha will now control 55 percent of the mine, an increase from the 45.9 percent it previously held, Kone said. Ivory Coast will 35 percent while private investors hold 10 percent.

Ity, which is in the west of Ivory Coast, has been open since 1991 and had the capacity to produce 31,000 ounces of gold last year, according to La Mancha’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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