After the divestment of 75% of shares by the majority shareholder, Dr Mike Adenuga, last week, indications have emerged that the new management and board of Forte Oil Plc may soon change the company’s name as part of a strategic rebranding process.
In a chat with some journalists in Lagos yesterday, the company’s newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Olumide Adeosun, noted that the current name is personal and may very likely be changed.
According to Adeosun, “The name FO is actually personal to an individual and that individual has sold his shares and it’s very likely that we are going to rebrand.”
At the moment, it is unclear if the new majority owners of Forte Oil Plc will maintain the name or eventually change it.
Delisting from the NSE: In the meantime, the new CEO disclosed that Forte Oil Plc will eventually be delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange; although it is unknown when this will be happening. He also clarified that contrary to prevailing speculations, the company’s minority shareholders will not be bought out through a mandatory tender offering.
Recall that on Wednesday, June 19, Femi Otedola announced his exit from Forte Oil Plc, after receiving full payment for the sale of the company to Prudent Energy Services Ltd.
Forte Oil Plc was initially incorporated in 1964 as British Petroleum Nigeria Limited. After 14 years in operation, it changed its status from a private limited liability company to a public liability company.
In 1977, 40% of the company’s shares were sold to Nigerians in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1977.
A year later 60% was acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria in favour of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
In November 1979 the name British Petroleum was changed to African Petroleum PLC.
NNPC’s stake in AP was reduced by 20% in March 1989 after the Federal Government sold the above percentage to Nigerian Citizens, increasing their stake from 40% to 60%.
In the year 2000, the Federal Government under its privatization programme divested its remaining 40% to core investors and interested Nigerians.

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