51 BUSINESSEXTRA Forte Oil re­verses self, list up­stream ser­vices, power busi­nesses for sale

Weekly Trust - - News - Sun­day Michael Ogwu, La­gos

Oil mar­ket­ing ma­jor, Forte Oil Plc, has dis­closed that it planned to sell its up­stream ser­vices and power busi­nesses in Nige­ria and di­vest from Ghana to fo­cus on its core fuel dis­tri­bu­tion op­er­a­tion at home.

The move has struck mar­ket watch­ers as a sur­prise fol­low­ing an ear­lier dec­la­ra­tion by the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Akin Ak­in­femiwa, who told in­vestors in La­gos that he wanted to ag­gres­sively pur­sue merger and ac­qui­si­tion (M&A) op­por­tu­ni­ties along the en­ergy value chain and ac­quire mar­ginal oil­fields to boost its up­stream busi­ness.

The com­pany had em­barked on a road show across the globe to woo for­eign in­vestors in its pro­posed N20 bil­lion fresh cap­i­tal drive for the ex­pan­sion of its op­er­a­tions.

The Group Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Fi­nance and Risk Man­age­ment of the com­pany, Julius Omo­dayo-Owotuga, at a me­dia par­ley in La­gos said there were lots of for­eign in­ter­ests in the shares of Forte Oil Plc which he at­trib­uted to the com­pany’s di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy, op­er­at­ing in the down­stream, up­stream and power sec­tors of the Nige­rian econ­omy.

He dis­closed that the firm had ap­proached the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion (SEC) and the Nige­rian Stock Ex­change (NSE) to seek ap­proval for the pro­posed N20bn fresh fund rais­ing.

The com­pany, ma­jor­ity owned by bil­lion­aire, Femi Otedola, had also been in talks with a ma­jor re­fin­ery to form a strate­gic part­ner­ship for lo­cal re­fin­ing of petroleum prod­ucts.

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