By Michael Effiong
Billionaire businessman, Mr Femi Otedola is selling his 75 per cent stake in Forte Oil Plc not due to any issues but because he wants to explore and maximise opportunities in refining and petrochemicals.
The news that Mr. Otedola, who is the Chairman of Forte Oil, was planning to divest from the company had been swirling in the rumor mill for weeks.
Different reasons were given for the decision to sell a company he revamped, nurtured and ingrained his personal DNA. But all the side talks have been laid to rest following the letter sent to the Nigeria Stock Exchange by Forte Oil’s General Counsel, Akinleye Olagbende.
The letter read in part “Forte Oil Plc hereby notifies the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission, Shareholders and the investing community that its Majority Shareholder, Mr. Femi Otedola, CON has reached an agreement with the Prudent Energy team, investing through Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, to divest of his full 75% direct and indirect shareholding in the Company’s downstream business,”
The billionaire has been the majority shareholder in the company since 2007, when he the Incorporated Trustees of NNPC’s Pension Fund divested its stake to the Otedola-owned Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited.
The sale of his shareholdings is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019 “subject to the satisfaction of various conditions and receipt of applicable regulatory approvals”.
The press release clarified that an offer, solicitation or sale of ordinary shares or any other securities is not permitted.
Adding that he was selling his stake to explore other opportunities in the same Oil sector.