Following a viral report that the Nigerian billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola has taken over the bank, FBN Holdings (FBNH) Plc has reacted.
Reports had alleged that Otedola may have acquired 10 per cent stake in First Bank of Nigeria with N30 billion worth of shares, making him the bank’s single largest shareholder following the crisis that rocked the Board of Directors recently.
The billionaire investor and turnaround specialist best known for taking over African Petroleum earlier this century and transforming it into a dominant player in the downstream space of the oil and gas sector has been scooping up shares of the bank for months, gradually increasing his ownership and surpassing shares owned by any other single shareholder of the bank.
It was gathered that Otedola has been acquiring the shares of the bank through Calvados Global Services Ltd. It is also likely that there could be other vehicles associated with Mr Otedola who may have also been mopping up shares.
FBNH currently has 34.7 billion of its shares floating freely meaning it is held by diverse shareholders. This makes the shares easy to acquire on the stock exchange.
The latest audited account of FBN Holdings does not have any shareholder with up to 5% of the ownership of the banking behemoth.
However speaking on the development, FBN in a statement to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd. said it was yet to receive any notification of the purported acquisition.
The statement signed by the FBNH Company Secretary, Mr Seyi Kosoko, said the company would notify the appropriate agencies and authorities whenever it received any notice of significant shareholding by the registrars.
The statement reads;
“The attention of FBNH has been drawn to media reports of today, Oct. 22, purporting that a certain individual has acquired significant shareholding interest in FBN Holdings, making him the majority shareholder in the company.
“As a listed company, the shares of FBN Holdings are publicly traded, and sale and acquisition of shares is expected in the normal course of business,”
FBN Holding said the company operated in a regulated environment, which required notification of significant shareholding by shareholders to the company, where shares were held in different vehicles, further to which the company would notify the regulators and the public as appropriate.”
“The company is yet to receive any notification from the individual mentioned in the media report, of such acquisitions.
“FBN Holdings Plc will always notify the appropriate agencies and authorities whenever it receives any notice of significant shareholding by the shareholders and the company’s registrars.”