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Femi Otedola sets to take over Ardova Oil as Zenon wins case against majority investor



FIRST BANK: Femi Otedola’s disruption bringing more losses than gains for shareholders?

Billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, is on course to return to the oil industry after his company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited won a $19.2 million judgment against Ignite Investment Limited owned by another business mogul, AbdulWasiu Sowami.

Ignite Investment had filed a lawsuit against Zenon Petroleum in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) over the share purchase agreement (SPA) both parties reached on the sale of Forte Oil Plc (now known as Ardova).

Zenon Petroleum confirmed the development in a statement on Wednesday.

Ignite Investment had accused the company of breaching the warranty relating to the sale of Forte Oil on December 20, 2018.

Read also:Otedola’s Geregu Power, GTCO, Dangote Cement make stocks to watch list

Ignite Investment made the claim in a letter dated June 17, 2020.

The case which was filed on December 28, 2020, was presided over by three arbitrators – Messrs Alain Choo Choy QC (Presiding Arbitrator), Oba Nsugbe QC SAN, and Segun Osuntokun.

It would be recalled that the sale of a 74.02 percent stake in Forte Oil Plc to Ignite Investments was completed by Zenon Petroleum at the cost of $200 million in June 2019.

After Zenon filed a counter-claim on Ignite Investment’s application on October 7, a final judgment was given with three out of the four claims made by the company upheld by the jury.

The statement read: “With the award in favour of Zenon, it is expected that all due payments will be made by Ignite in compliance with the award.”

Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported that Zenon had requested the winding up of Ignite’s affiliate, Prudent Energy and Services Limited (PESL), over its inability to pay the balance of $6 million due on June 18.

Prudent Energy is the majority shareholder of Ardova, having acquired the firm through Ignite, and the request of Zenon had sparked a claim that Otedola could be making a comeback into the oil industry by taking over the shares of Prudent for failing to pay the balance of the acquisition fee.

On the winding up case which was filed in court in August, the statement added: “You may recall that in accordance with the SPA, there were amounts due to Zenon of which a request was made to Ignite.

“Following this request, on the 9th of August 2022, Ignite filed a case in court for an injunction stopping Zenon from claiming the due payment.

“Upon which, Zenon filed for the winding up of Ignite due to the unpaid liability in August 2022.”

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