Femi Otedola, a Nigerian multi-millionaire businessman, recently sold his 75% stake in the oil marketing company Forte Oil to Prudent Energy, a local oil trading company. The announcement was made by Forte Oil in a press release signed by the company’s general counsel, Akinleye Olagbende. The statement said that Strong Oil Plc was notifying the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the shareholders and the investor community that its majority shareholder, Mr. Femi Otedola, had come to an agreement with the Prudent Energy team, investing through Ignite Investments and Commodities, by pulling out 75% of his direct and indirect holdings in the company’s downstream business. The financial terms of the deal, however, remained a secret and were not disclosed to the public. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 subject to compliance with various conditions and obtaining applicable regulatory approval.
Otedola, A Highly Skilled and Adept Businessman
Otedola acquired a majority stake in the Nigerian government’s Africa Petroleum Petroleum Marketing Company in 2007 through its petroleum trading company, Zenon Petroleum. In 2010, the company changed its name and was later named Forte Oil. Otedola would divest from downstream activities to explore and maximize business opportunities in refining and petrochemicals. Strong Oil is a petroleum marketing and power generation company. Originally a Nigerian subsidiary of British Petroleum (BP), Forte Oil has more than 500 service stations across the country. It has oil storage depots and manufactures its own range of engine oils. In October 2015, the company announced that Mercuria Energy Group Holdings SA had acquired 17% of its equity, valued at $ 200 million. The company said in a statement that Mercuria Energy had entered the West African energy sector by investing directly in Forte Oil. According to a press release issued by the organization at that period, Mercuria was partnering with Forte Oil at a time when equitable financing and expertise was needed to expand and intensify its market penetration to give the company the power to create a positive impact for all shareholders. Forte Oil, formerly African Petroleum Plc, operates primarily in the downstream oil and gas industry. The group also has stakes in power generation and upstream services.
Femi Otedola, Also A Generous Philanthropist
Femi Otedola, Nigeria’s energy magnate, donated $ 6 million for the construction of a multi-story building at Augustine University in Epe, Lagos. The structure, currently under construction, will be the building of the Faculty of Engineering of the University.
Speaking at the founding ceremony of the new building, Mr. Otedola said that his father was passionate about education and development in the country. He spoke about how his father was very passionate about building a university in Epe because he was very concerned about education. He also added that rather than spend his money building more houses or buying a plane, he decided to spend his money to support the worthy cause of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos through Augustine University. Augustine University is a privately-owned Catholic university located in Ilara, a town in the Epe region of Lagos State in southwestern Nigeria.
Femi Otedola is also one of Nigeria’s most well-known philanthropists. Over the years, he has spent millions of dollars on causes for education, health, and the arts. He was named to Forbes billionaires in 2016 with a net worth of $ 1.8 billion at the time. Although Femi Otedola is no longer the majority shareholder of Forte Oil, a publicly traded oil and power generation company, many believe that he has other ambitions. Some say his ambitions lie in politics. Others think his aim is to branch out into companies that deal with renewable energy like solar which has huge potential in the African continent. There are also those that think he is looking to diversify into other streams and leave the energy sector altogether.