Otedola makes fresh move, raises stake in FBNH with 0.3% worth N2b
• As market capitalisation rises further by N565b
The struggle to control assets of Nigeria’s oldest bank, FBN Holdings Plc, is not over as strong indications emerged, yesterday, that billionaire businessman and chairman of Geregu Power Plant, Femi Otedola, has acquired 110 million units of the bank’s shares worth N2 billion in a fresh deal. The units represent 0.3 per cent of the bank’s entire shares of 35,895,292,792.
This was after Otedola had offloaded about 834 million shares of FBN Holdings valued at about N9.28 billion, an acquisition that made him the largest single shareholder of the bank as of June, 2023.
The sale came after a protracted boardroom tussle over who owns the largest shares of the company. The confusion compelled the Nigerian Exchange to wade in and clarify issues regarding ownership. The audited accounts of the banks within the period placed the billionaire at 7.57 per cent ownership.
In another development, news broke last month that the chairman, Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, consolidated his shareholding as the largest shareholder with the acquisition of 4,770,269,843 units of shares through Barbican Capital Limited, an affiliate of Honeywell Group Limited, representing 13.3 per cent of its 35,895,292,791 outstanding shares of FBN Holdings.
A notification issued by First Bank Holdings, the parent company of First Bank Nigeria Limited, to its stakeholders, signed by the acting company secretary, Adewale Arogundade, confirmed that Otudeko’s Barbican Capital Limited acquired an aggregate of 4,770,269,843 units of shares from the company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791.
Yesterday, strong indications emerged that Otedola made a fresh acquisition move with the purchase of 110 million units of shares, valued at N2,090,000,000, representing 0.3 per cent of the bank’s outstanding shares.
A source close to The Guardian said: “Otedola bought 110 million units of FBNH today (yesterday). The battle for control over the institution is not over. The volume represents 0.3 per cent of FBNH shares. It just signals that he is still trying to fight it out with Oba Otudeko for control. The company has made up its mind to raise N150 billion via rights issue at roughly N16 per share. Whosoever is capable of taking the rights will become the chairman.
Also, the chairman of Highcap Securities Limited, David Adonri said: “Volume and value of shares purchased today by Otedola are 110 million units, N2,090,000,000 out of the bank’s outstanding shares of 35,895,292,792. The huge volume purchased by Otedola today drove the price of FBNH up to make a maximum gain of 10 per cent. Perhaps, Otedola is positioning to dominate the upcoming Rights Issue of FBNH.”
The deal impacted significantly the volume of shares traded yesterday, which increased by 123.16 million, representing 51.73 per cent, as investors traded 361.197 million shares valued at N5.743 billion in 5531 deals against 238.039 million shares worth N2.616 billion that was exchanged in 6,001 deals on Wednesday.
Additionally, transactions in shares of the bank led market activities yesterday with 140.179 million shares valued at N2.608 billion in 280 deals. The stock price of the bank also rose by N1.30 kobo, representing a 7.34 per cent gain to close at N19 from N17.70 kobo at which it opened for transactions yesterday.
Recall that some shareholders of the bank had recently protested against a court order suspending the bank’s 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM), proposed plans to raise fresh capital, and appointment of new directors.
Also, the management of FBN Holdings sought to increase its issued share capital from N17.95 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N22.43 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, and sought shareholders’ approval to raise up to N150 billion fresh capital by way of rights.
Specifically, the chairman, Trusted Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, Muktar Muktar, while speaking on behalf of other minority shareholders during the protest, lamented that some individuals were trying to hinder growth of the bank.
“We are here to register our displeasure, our discontentment, our disapproval and rejection of attempts by some shareholders to disrupt the AGM of FBN from holding and ensure that some resolutions will not be passed.
“They want First Bank not to consider raising more capital and not to appoint some directors to the board of the bank. It is very improper. It is not right that people that have benefited from the political economy of this country are the ones holding the institutions to ransom,” he said.
Meanwhile trading activities on the floor of the exchange remained upbeat yesterday, as capitalisation increased further by N565 billion. The market capitalisation of listed equities appreciated by 1.62 per cent to close at N35.483 trillion from N34.918 trillion reported the previous day.
The All-Share Index also appreciated by 1037.43 basis points to 65204.82 points from 64167.39 points traded on Wednesday.
A review of market activities showed that Chellaram Plc led gainers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N4.40 kobo while SCOA Plc followed with a gain of 9.35 per cent to close at N1.17 kobo. Dangote Cement appreciated by 9.34 per cent to close at N349.90 kobo. Thomas Wyatts added 9.32 per cent to close at N1.29 kobo. Cornerstone Insurance also increased by 9.09 per cent to close at N1.08 kobo.
On the contrary, Cap Plc topped the losers’ chart, shedding 10 per cent to close at N19.80 kobo. Academy Press trailed with a loss of 9.36 per cent to close at N2.13 kobo. Dangote Sugar Refinery dipped by 6.63 per cent to close at N32.40 kobo. Glaxo Smithkline fell by 6.60 per cent to close at N9.20 kobo. Chams Plc was also down by 5.05 per cent to close at 94 kobo.
Volume of trade increased by 123.16 million, representing 51.73 per cent, as investors traded 361.197 million shares valued at N5.743 billion in 5531 deals against 238.039 million shares worth N2.616 billion in 6001 deals.
Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings led market activities with 140.179 million shares valued at N2.608 billion in 280 deals, Fidelity Bank followed with an account of 21.559 million shares worth N165.186 million in 170 deals.
Universal Insurance traded 18.706 million shares valued at N4.211 million in 62 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria exchanged 17.307 million shares valued at N62.606 million in 176 deals while United Bank for Africa exchanged 13.081 million shares worth N188.990 million in 249 deals.
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