Successful businessmen are known for their ability to take calculated risks in their businesses. Many times, their decisions pay off massively, and at other times, they fail woefully.
Multibillionaire business mogul, Femi Otedola is definitely no stranger to business risks. Ever since his days at Zenon, and African Petroleum, he showed his impeccable business acumen by making strings of shrewd moves which boosted his net worth as well as his company’s equity.
It is no longer news that he recently made known his decision to sell his 75% stakes in Forte Oil Plc. We cannot accurately what his next move might be, even though we have a few assumptions.
The development was announced on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange recently. Also, public bids were not accepted for the stakes as a buyer had already been decided. So as it stands, Femi Otedola will no longer be regarded as the owner and/or chairman of Forte Oil Plc, once the deal is concluded.
But, who is this Femi Otedola of whom we speak? How did he become the owner of Forte Oil, and what motivated him to suddenly decide to sell his stakes?
We aim to provide answers to these questions and more, below.
Firstly, who is he?
Femi Otedola is a Nigerian-born businessman. He was born in the 4th of November 1962, in Ibadan, Oyo state to the family of former Governor of Lagos State, late Sir Michael Otedola. He was raised in Ibadan, but eventually relocated to Lagos.
His proclivity for business started in 1968, when he was aged six. According to him, he had begun providing paid services for friends, family and visitors to his home. Even though he initially dreamed of becoming a clergy, his love for doing business led him down a different path.
Femi Otedola primarily deals in petroleum products, shipping and real estate. He is the current chairman of Forte Oil Plc, an oil and gas company. He is also the founder and president of Zenon Petroleum, also another Oil and Gas company.
Femi Otedola also has business presence in the finance industry. Furthermore, he owns a string of companies that function in areas cutting across Shipping, Real Estate, and even the Power sector.
According to reports, Mr. Femi Otedola has recently begun to invest heavily in the power generation sector. It is believed that a major take over of the power generation companies may be on the horizon, due to his sustained interest in stabilizing and revitalizing the sector.
Why he decided to sell some of stake at Forte oil:
This is the hottest development in the business world today. Femi Otedola has been the chairman of Forte Oil since 2007, after acquiring a major stake in the company, which was then known as AP (African Petroleum). Shortly after his appointment, he further acquired a large percentage of the company’s stakes, making him the undisputed chairman and highest stakeholder in the business.
His appointment to the said position caused the share prices and overall profitability of the company to increase exponentially, and in a short while the company had revolutionized the entire business landscape. After a while, the company began a rebranding process, which culminated in the revamping of the company’s logo and the changing of the name to Forte Oil.
Due to the company’s expansion and growth, as well as his personal involvement, his stakes at the company gradually increased to over 75%.
Recently, it was reported that he had decided to sell his stakes in the company. Otedola confirmed the reports, stating further that he was divesting his majority shareholding in the company, so as to enable him to pursue other lucrative opportunities in the petrochemical and oil refining industry.
Speaking on the development on behalf of the board of Forte Oil Limited, General Counsel to the company, Mr. Olagbende Akinleye made the following statement in an exclusive interview:
“Forte Oil Plc hereby notifies the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission, Shareholders and the investing community that it’s majority shareholder, Mr. Femi Otedola has reached an agreement with the Prudent Energy Team, investing through Ignite Investments and Commodities LTD, to divest of his full 75% direct and indirect shareholding in the company’s downstream business.”
Mr. Akinleye further added that, all things being equal, all matters relating to the handover of shares and the ensuing transactions are on course to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2019. He emphasized that this public notice was not an indirect call for bids, and as such, none would be welcomed or attended to.
Another reason which we believe motivated Mr. Femi Otedola to sell his majority stake at Forte Oil Plc is the ongoing construction of the Dangote Refinery in Lekki, Lagos State. It is believed that Otedola is in partnership with Alhaji Aliko Dangote on the project, and as such, may be in need of funds to support the project. The refinery project, once completed, will surely enrich all the partners; so it is believed that Mr Femi Otedola has his eyes on the prospects of the finished project.
As a matter of fact, the federal government of Nigeria is reportedly banking on the completion of the refinery to help reduce the importation of petroleum products.
According to Forbes list of Billionaires worldwide, Femi Otedola recently dropped off the list of billionaires, due to his business being heavily hit by the recent economic recession that rocked the nation’s economy. He is no longer a member of the billionaires’ club. Nonetheless, he is still a very wealthy man, and his current business decision may serve to propel him back to the list of the billionaires’ rankings in the near future.
His current net worth is an estimated $550 million.
Femi Otedola is married to his sweetheart, Nana Otedola. Together, they have four children, among whom is foremost female Nigerian DJ, DJ Cuppy.