Origins of Woodbois
This Group combines the DNA of two uniquely Africa focused businesses.
In changing its name in March 2019, from Obtala Ltd (Obtala) to Woodbois Ltd, the combined group signalled the completion of a transition for the original Obtala, from a diversified, African resources play, to a business focused on the production, processing, manufacture and supply of sustainable African hardwood and hardwood products, and on the supply into Africa (and across the globe) of sustainable softwood, hardwood and related products.
Obtala was incorporated in the United Kingdom in August 2007 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIM market) in April 2008, describing its business activities as including mineral resource licences, exploration and development. During the period up to 2012, the company also diversified into agriculture in Tanzania, and forestry in Mozambique. However, following the appointment of Miles Pelham as Chairman in 2016, and a change in the senior and operational management, the focus of the business began to concentrate on forestry, timber transformation and timber trading.
When in May 2017, the company acquired WoodBois International (WBI), a global trader of African timber and timber products, and a producer of sawn timber from its own natural forest concessions in the Republic of Gabon, the focus of the company was firmly established on the production, processing, manufacture and supply of sustainable African hardwood and hardwood products.
WBI was founded in 2004 to engage in the global trading of sawn West African hardwood, as well as the production of sawn timber and veneer from its concessions in Gabon. WBI styled itself as an intermediary partner between the West African timber producing sector, and the global timber consuming industry, meeting demand for top-quality hardwood at the best possible prices. While the company was headquartered in Copenhagen, its African wood trading operations were based in Abidjan. WBI’s founders, each with more than 20 years of experience within the African wood procurement and sales sectors, have lived and worked within the hardwood industry in West Africa for over a century collectively.