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Femi Otedola Reclaims Top Spot As First Bank’s Largest Shareholder

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The chairman of FBN Holdings, Femi Otedola, has reclaimed his place as First Bank’s largest shareholder.

News About Nigeria reports that the Nigerian billionaire achieved this by purchasing shares for N18.9 billion, bringing his total ownership in the bank to 9.41%.

Otedola had previously been the second-largest shareholder in the bank, after Oba Otudeko’s Barbican Capital Limited, with 8.67%.

With this acquisition, Otedola has become the single largest shareholder of First Bank Holdings, the parent company of First Bank Nigeria.

This development marks a significant shift in the ownership structure of First Bank, one of Nigeria’s largest financial institutions.

Recall that in its 2020 annual report and accounts, the bank 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.”

This 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.

In the 10 days leading up to this acquisition, FBN Holdings witnessed an unusually massive trading in its shares and the cumulative number of units traded within the period surpassed 2.1 billion.

The uptick in trading catapulted its share value by 62.3 per cent from the level it was three weeks ago.

Femi Otedola’s move marks his foray into banking, having sold off his shareholding in Forte Oil Plc in 2019 to consolidate his investment in Geregu Power Plc.

The acquisition 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.

Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, had been making vigorous plans to wrest control of the prime spot in FBN Holdings ownership.

Mr Otudeko, the immediate past chairman of FBN Holdings board, was ousted from the organisation’s top hierarchy in May after a conflict of interest and violation of procedure in appointing the chief executive of the group’s commercial banking, First Bank, irked the regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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