How Abdulwasiu Sowami Acquired Otedola’s Ardova
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How Abdulwasiu Sowami Acquired Otedola’s Ardova

Nigerian oil distribution tycoon Abdulwasiu Sowami has concluded the acquisition of Femi Otedola’s Ardova Plc (formerly Forte Oil). This comes as he paid Otedola the $19 million awarded in an arbitration case filed in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) last year.

Recall that Sowami acquired a controlling interest in Forte Oil from Otedola’s Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) -Ignite Investment and Commercial Limited (IICL) in 2020.

The IICL in a bid to avoid paying Otedola and Zenon a balance of almost $20 million for its shares triggered a dispute notice in a letter dated 17th of June 2020. In the dispute notice, the firm made claims for breach of warranty pursuant to the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) entered on the 20th of December 2018.

Sowami drags Otedola to Court

The notice also asserted that Zenon broke specific promises under the SPA, and as a result, the purchaser lodged the applicable claims against Zenon. After a series of failed meetings between both parties, IICL filed a claim at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on December 18, 2020.

In response, Zenon filed a counter-suit against Ignite. The suits led the London Court to establish a tribunal of three arbitrators, Messrs Alain Choo Choy QC (Presiding Arbitrator), Oba Nsugbe QC SAN, and Segun Osuntokun. The tribunal heard the suits from the 6th-9th of December 2021, during which all parties presented their cases and cross-examined individual witnesses from both parties.

After hearing the cases, newsmen reported that the arbitrator ruled in favor of Otedola with the award of $19 million against Sowami. It was also reported that Wasiu has completed the payment of the arbitrary award, and net of certain deductions ahead of the June 2023 deadline, thus completing the acquisition.

According to reports, Ignite Investments and Commercial Limited in the 2021 financial year owned 970,666,694 shares in Ardova PLC, amounting to a shareholding of 74.06%.

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