One of Nigeria’s integrated energy solution providers, Forte Oil Plc recently confirmed the acquisition of 17 per cent of its equity by Mercuria Energy Holdings SA for $200 million.
With the foreign direct investment in Forte Oil, the world’s third largest independent energy trader and asset operator has made inroads into the West African energy sector.
Forte Oil said in a statement said that through this investment, it had secured additional working capital to continue its meteoric growth and dominance in the downstream sector, upstream services, power generation and upstream exploration in its bid to becoming Nigeria’s premier integrated energy solution provider.
“Mercuria is joining forces with Forte Oil at an auspicious time when equitable funding and expertise is needed to expand and intensify its market penetration to give the company the leverage to further create a positive impact for all shareholders.
“This is another step towards projecting Forte Oil Plc as the investment of choice as reflected in our mission statement,” Forte Oil said.
Forte Oil said the investment has been approved by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), adding that it is geared towards improving the group’s working capital and would be used for the expansion of the downstream and power generation businesses in Nigeria as well as positioning itself for future opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Mercuria Energy Group Holdings SA was founded in 2004 by Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi, former executives at Phibro—the commodities trader sold by Citigroup to Occidental Petroleum in 2009—and previously at Goldman Sachs.
Until 2007, Mercuria was called the J&S Group and focused mostly on oil trading.
With their expansion, they have hired away traders and investment professionals from across Europe, particularly Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Louis Dreyfus Group and Electrabel in London. Mercuria’s 2013 revenue was $112 billion.
Forte Oil is a leading indigenous major marketer of refined petroleum products with a strong presence in all parts of Nigeria.
The company has over 500 Forte Oil owned, dealer-assisted and dealer-developed retail outlets spread across the country, a major fuel storage installation at Apapa, Lagos, and another major storage depot in Onne, Rivers State.
It also has an aviation joint users’ hydrant in Ikeja, Lagos, and joint aviation depots in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano, as well as eight retail outlets in Ghana under the trade name of AP Oil and Gas Ghana Limited (APOG).
In the midstream sector, the company has also established a reputation for effectively servicing the upstream sector under its trade name – AP Oilfields Servcies Limited (APOS).