Indication has emerged that Mercuria Energy Group Limited, one of the largest integrated energy and commodity trading companies in the world, is in close talks to buy a 17 per cent stake, worth over $200 million in Forte Oil, an indigenous petroleum products marketer and power generating company, Footprint to Africa reports.
Footprint to Africa gathered that Forte Oil’s stock price is up 25 per cent over the past month, with its market capitalisation growing by N76 billion to N323.6 billion.
It was also gathered that commodity traders including, Mercuria, Vitol and Trafigura Beheer BV are targeting fuel storage and retail businesses in Africa, Europe and Australia to harmonize their crude and oil product-trading operations.
The Mercuria Chief Executive Officer, Marco Dunand, was quoted to have said recently in an interview that the company was seeking a private-equity partner to invest as much as $1 billion in oil and gas production.
Therefore a likely Forte Oil transaction would further Mercuria’s goal of becoming a more vertically integrated business amid increasing competition.
On the part of Forte Oil, Footprint to Africa learnt that the deal if completed will see it diversify away from marketing refined petroleum products and towards being a purer energy and power player.