Femi Otedola: Power Moves that Made Him a Billionaire
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Billionaires - June 26, 2023

Femi Otedola: Power Moves that Made Him a Billionaire

Nigerian businessman and entrepreneur, Femi Otedola, has etched his name in the annals of success through a series of strategic power moves that propelled him to billionaire status. Armed with a keen eye for opportunities and an unwavering determination, Otedola strategically navigated the business landscape, in sectors such as the oil and gas sector, to build an empire that extends beyond traditional boundaries. 

Having capitalized on key sectors, forging strategic partnerships, and diversifying his investments, Otedola has solidified his position as one of Nigeria’s most prominent and influential billionaires. Let’s delve into the power moves that defined Femi Otedola’s remarkable journey and showcase the shrewd decisions and business acumen that have positioned him at the helm of success. 

Otedola’s expansion of his family’s business

Born to former Lagos state governor Michael Otedola, Otedola’s entry into the realm of business has marked a remarkable journey of triumph over numerous landscapes, reinvigorating enterprises and steering them towards prosperity. Upon his graduation from the university, Otedola swiftly embarked on his professional journey by joining the esteemed family business. Assuming responsibility for the marketing division of their printing press, he diligently honed his skills and garnered invaluable experience over the years.

Following an extensive period of dedication and fortifying the family enterprise, Femi Otedola took a bold step towards independence. He founded his very own company. He serves as the CEO of SeaForce Shipping Company Ltd, a prominent ship-owning entity in Nigeria, and CentreForce Ltd, a renowned company specializing in finance, investments, and trading. Femi Otedola is additionally the proprietor of Swift Insurance and holds significant stakes as one of the major shareholders in various banks, including Zenith Bank and UBA.

Otedola’s move to the oil sector

Approximately five years after his departure from the family business, Femi Otedola embarked on a new venture in the dynamic oil and gas sector. Prompted by a delayed and flawed diesel delivery, he seized the chance to improve services. He founded Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, a petroleum products marketing and distribution company that ventured into the diesel supply business, purchasing from a retailer and distributing to companies.

Otedola was later appointed chairman and chief executive of Africa Petroleum in 2006 through the acquisition of a controlling stake having personally acquired a further 29.3 percent of the company for N40 billion in the business bringing his total stake to 55.3 per cent. He later changed its name to Forte Oil PLC in 2010.

Otedola’s move from oil to power sector

After selling Forte Oil Plc, Femi Otedola redirected his attention towards power generation. He announced a planned investment of up to $1 billion into Geregu Power Plc. Signaling his intention to conclude his nearly two-decade-long involvement in the oil business, Otedola sold his entire 75 percent majority stake in the oil marketing company to Prudent Energy.

Geregu Power plant was acquired In 2013, during the power sector privatization,  by Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited, a subsidiary of Forte Oil Plc, with an initial investment of $94 million. Demonstrating his dedication to the Federal Government’s power sector recovery plan, Femi Otedola further invested $350 million into the plant in 2018. On May 26, his total shares in Geregu Power were valued at N725,986,482,571, with each share priced at N303.9 

Otedola controlling stake at FBN

During the first half of 2021, Femi Otedola’s stake in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBNH), the country’s oldest commercial bank, surged to over $12 million. Adding to his previous acquisition of 5.07 percent, Otedola obtained an additional 2.5 percent interest, resulting in a total stake of 7.57 percent. This significant equity ownership established Otedola as a prominent shareholder of First Bank Holdings.

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