By Dipo Olowookere
The silent underground battle for the control of FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited, is getting more interesting by the day.
A few weeks ago, two billionaires, Mr Femi Otedola and Mr Tunde Hassan Odukale, were in the news over who truly is the single largest shareholder in the financial institution.
The tussle became heated after it was reported that Mr Otedola had acquired 5.07 per cent holding in the company and this prompted the board of FBN Holdings to disclose in a statement that Mr Hassan-Odukale actually had about 5.36 per cent cumulative equity stake in the firm through direct and indirect shareholding.
But the regulatory agencies, including the National Pension Commission (PenCom), questioned this and it was later held that Mr Hassan Odukale cannot add his stake in Leadway Pensure Limited.
This was because the shares of FBN Holdings in Leadway Pensure belonged to Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders and not Mr Hassan-Odukale since the funds actually belonged to a pool of investors, who are mainly Nigerian workers.
Ostensibly to make it impossible for any investor to displace him easily, Mr Otedola acquired an additional 2.5 per cent stake in the bank, raising his total control to 7.57 per cent.
“I have recently acquired additional shares in FBN Holdings Plc which has brought my total stake to 7.57 per cent of the issued shares capital of the Company,” Premium Times quoted Mr Otedola to have said in the letter.
“Section 120 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act requires that I give notice in writing o the Company stating amongst other things, the particulars of the shares held by me or my nominees by virtue of which I am a substantial shareholder,” he added.
On Wednesday, FBN Holdings confirmed the additional shares purchased by Mr Otedola in a disclosure filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.
He spent about N2.3 billion to acquire 200 million First Bank shares and this was done in four tranches last week between Monday and Wednesday.He initially bought 70 million units at N11.50 each and later purchased 55 million units at a unit price of N11.35 before adding 40 million units at N11.65 and then bought 35 million units at N11.65 each.Now totalling 2.717 billion units, Mr Otedola holds 210 million directly, 1.989 billion through Calvados Global Services Limited, 170 million through Primrose Global Concept, 175 million through Shetland Global, 120 […]