Forte Oil declares N1.5bn interim dividend

The board of directors of Forte Oil Plc has earmarked about N1.5 billion as interim cash dividend to shareholders of the indigenous oil and gas group.

In a circular yesterday, the board indicated that shareholders on the register of the company as at the close of business on Monday June 3, 2019 will receive interim dividend per share of N1.15. The interim dividend will be paid through e-dividend on June 10, 2019.

The interim dividend might be from the proceeds of the recent divestments by the oil and gas group.

Forte Oil recently indicated that it had entered into share sale and purchase agreements to sell its power and upstream businesses in continuation of complicated divestment programme involving the major shareholder and chairman of board of director, Mr. Femi Otedola.

In a regulatory filing at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Forte Oil stated that it had entered into share sale and purchase agreement with Calvados Global Services Limited for the sale of its power distribution company, Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited.

Forte Oil had also entered into share sale and purchase agreement with Gbonka Oil and Gas Limited for the divestment and sale of its shares in Forte Upstream Services Limited.

The two new agreements came as the indigenous energy group confirmed that it had concluded divestment of its shares in AP Oil and Gas Ghana Limited to Cobalt International Services (Ghana) Limited.

Forte Upstream Services Limited, AP Oil and Gas Ghana Limited are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Forte Oil while the indigenous energy group holds majority equity stake of 57 per cent in Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited. Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited holds the majority equity stake in the lucrative Geregu Power Plc.

General Counsel, Forte Oil, Mr. Akinleye Olagbende, stated that the two new share purchase and sale agreements were however subject to the fulfilment of relevant conditions as specified in the respective agreement, including obtaining relevant contractual and regulatory approvals.

In February 2019, shareholders of Forte Oil had approved major resolutions authorising the sale of the company’s subsidiaries to Mr Femi Otedola, the majority core investor in the company. Otedola holds 75 per cent majority equity stake in Forte Oil.

At the Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) in Lagos, shareholders approved a resolution authorising the company to enter into discussions with Otedola or any company representing him in connection with assets to be divested.

In the recent regulatory filing, the company was however silent on the relationship between the bidding companies and Otedola. Global search for identities of both Calvados Global Services Limited and Gbonka Oil and Gas Limited did not provide any links to the companies. A market source said the two companies might be newly incorporated firms or special purpose vehicles formed for the purpose of the acquisitions.

Otedola had also in December 2018 announced that he planned to sell his 75 per cent majority equity stake in Forte Oil to Prudent Energy. The December 2018 announcement came after shareholders had in May 2018 approved a restructuring plan pushed by Otedola-led board of directors aimed at restructuring the group’s operations by divesting from its upstream services and power generating businesses and the sale of its downstream business in Ghana.
Source: The Nation
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