How Femi Otedola Pocketed N65bn from Sale of Forte Oil

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By Dipo Olowookere

Last month, business mogul, Femi Otedola, announced the sale of his 75 percent stake in Forte Oil Plc, an energy company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The sale of his holdings in the firm did not come as a surprise to some people very conversant with happenings in the stock market.

This was because before now, precisely in December 2018, the businessman, who is a friend to Africa’s richest man, had indicated his interest to exit the company he acquired some years ago.

Mr Otedola, son of a former Governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Otedola, sold his stake in Forte Oil to focus on his new electricity generation business called Geregu Power Plc.

A regulatory note sighted by Business Post at the weekend confirmed that Mr Otedola smiled to the bank with nearly N65 billion.

According to the document seen by Business Post, Mr Otedola sold his entire 982,971,950 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each, about 75 percent of his stake in Forte Oil, at N66.01 each, amounting to N64.9 billion.

This number of shares of Forte Oil divested by the businessman, were held directly and indirectly by him and were sold to the new owners of the company, Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, who have decided to retain the brand name.

It was gathered that funds from the transaction would be used for operations at Geregu Power plant, which was acquired in 2013 by Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited, a subsidiary of Forte Oil.

The gas power plant began operations in 2007 with a total installed capacity of 414MW at commissioning.

It is believed that Mr Otedola is relying on gas from his friend, Mr Dangote, for his power generation business. The Africa’s richest man is building a refinery in Lagos, which should commence operations next year.

It was reported last month that the former Chairman of Forte Oil is planning to invest about N360 billion ($1 billion) in Geregu Power.

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