The owners of First Bank Nigeria, First Bank Holdings have confirmed that Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, is now the company’s major shareholder after acquiring a 5.07 per cent equity stake.
It would be recalled that the holding firm had earlier denied knowledge of the takeover saying it had not received a notification of a significant holding by Otedola.
But in a follow-up communication to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, the firm said it received notification from APT Securities and Funds Limited that its client, “that Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited have acquired a total of 1,818, 551,625 units of shares from the Company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292791.”
The notice signed by Seye Kosoko, the company’s secretary, said “Based on the foregoing, the equity stake of Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter and his nominee in the company is now 5.07%”.
In view of the development, Otedola becomes the bank’s single largest shareholder on record.
It is important note that the bank had in its 2020 annual report and accounts stated that “According to Register of Members as at December 30, 2020, there is no shareholder with 5% of the shares of FBN Holdings Plc.”
Otedola’s development is the first time since that reporting that the bank is informing the Nigerian Exchange of a substantial acquisition of shares that has thrown up an individual with five percent significant slice of the company.
It is important to note that the First Bank move marks Otedola’s foray into banking, having sold off his shareholding in Forte Oil Plc in 2019 to consolidate his investment in Geregu Power Plc.
According to reports, the acquisition, estimated to have taken its stake in FBN Holdings beyond five per cent, will lift Otedola’s shareholding above that of Oba Otudeko and Oye Hassan Odukale, two of the firm’s biggest owners with 1.5 per cent and 1.03 per cent holdings respectively.
Reports also have it that before now, Nigeria’s second richest man, Mike Adenuga, had been making plans to wrest control of the prime spot in FBN Holdings ownership before now.