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.