Normally, this would have been front page news for several months but ….I caught a glimpse of it on the CNN ticker? The UK’s second largest airport “Gatwick Airport” was purchased by Nigerian businessman Adebayo Ogunlesi! That’s probably why you haven’t heard of this powerful transaction….a Nigerian? Owning the second busiest airport in the entire UK? Who is Adebayo Ogunlesi? Well to be honest with you, prior to now I had no idea. As I researched, I discovered this acquisition was no accident…it was his destiny!
Bayo (as he’s called by his close friends) was educated 1st at the prestigious Kings College in Nigeria, then at Oxford and finally he attended Harvard Law & Business where he graduated with honors from each. Mr. Ogunlesi was the 1st of two Editors of African descent (the other was W. Randy Eaddy a Sr. Partner at Kilpatrick & Stockton, LLP) to serve on the Harvard Law Review. In many ways he was a trailblazer for our 44th President Barack Obama! In his early days he served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (by the way he was the 1st non American to clerk for the high Court).
So, at age 56 Mr. Adebayo Ogunlesi positioned his company “Global Infrastructure Partners of NYC” (GIP) to purchase Gatwick Airport for 1.455 Billion British Pound Sterling (that approximately $2.25 Billion). I just love stories like this that get buried in most prime time media outlets or they become mere footnotes! Can you imagine the CNN, MSNBC and Fox chatter if say….Warren Buffett were to purchase this airport? (well maybe not Fox?!). At any rate, that’s why I’m here. Oh and to prove my point (mostly to myself), I called 10 friends randomly just to see if they knew of this business transaction….only 2 had heard of it and one of them was from Nigeria! LOL
This certainly beats buying rims on cars, owning clubs, having 5 cars parked in front of our apartment, or spending $1000 a month of weave (sad face). Hats off to Mr. Ogunlesi....job well done and I want to be like you when I grow up! Thanks for giving us an example "we" can see ourselves aspiring to. Thanks for raising the bar!