In what may seem like a business crunch, Nigerian billionaire and owner of Forte Oil, Femi Otedola has reportedly lost more than $400 million of his personal fortune over the last 9 weeks as the stock price of Forte Oil shed off 43.5% in value within that period.
In late February, the share price of Forte Oil hit an all-time high of N342 per share after the Lagos-based utilities and petroleum marketing company released its impressive 2015 FY results and declared an attractive dividend of N3.45 per share.
As at close of trading on Tuesday, its share price dropped to N193.46 after recording consistent daily losses over the past few weeks.
According to the FORBES’ real-time billionaire scorecard, Otedola, who is the company’s controlling shareholder, has seen his paper net worth drop from $1.6 billion when FORBES published its annual ranking of the World’s Billionaires in March, to $1.2 billion today.
Last year, Forte Oil offered investors a bonus of 1 new share for every 5 ordinary shares they held. In total, Forte Oil declared roughly 216 million bonus shares for the 2014 business year.
The bonus shares were only issued to investors a couple of weeks ago and they have been scrabbling to sell off their bonus shares on the market to cash in. This mass sell-off has precipitated the drop in the share price. Of the 216 million bonus shares which have been issued, Femi Otedola received approximately 170 million.
Forte Oil Plc is primarily engaged in the distribution of petroleum products such as diesel, aviation fuel and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The company has over 500 company-owned, dealer-assisted and dealer-developed gas stations spread across the country, oil storage depots in Lagos and Rivers states, a Power plant and a Joint User Hydrant Installation facility in Lagos.
The company also sells its own range of automobile lubricants. In 2014 the company was included in the Morgan Stanley Capital International Frontier Market 100 Index.