The controversy surrounding shares acquisition by billionaire Femi Otedola in First Bank may have been laid to rest as FBN Holdings has confirmed it.
It had earlier denied it, saying no formal notice of such had been forwarded to it.
However, on Saturday, FBN Holdings (FBNH) Plc confirmed that the business mogul had acquired 5.07 per cent equity stake in the company.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FBNH’s Company Secretary, Mr Seye Kosoko, in another statement on Saturday posted on the website of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd. affirmed that Otedola and his nominee now own 5.07 per cent equity stake in the company.
“We refer to our communication to the market dated October 22, on the above subject wherein we stated that we would inform the public of any substantial acquisition, upon receipt of notification from the Shareholder.
“This morning, Oct. 23, 2021, FBN Holdings Plc received a notification from APT Securities and Funds Ltd., that their client, Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Ltd. have acquired a total of 1,818,551,625 units of shares from the company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791.
“Based on the foregoing, the equity stake of Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter and his nominee in the company is now 5.07 per cent,” said the statement.
Commenting on the issue, Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Otedola is now the largest single shareholder in the company.
Kurfi who dispelled the rumours that Otedola had acquired FBN Holdings said he was only the largest single shareholder.
He noted that 95 per cent of FBNH shares were still in the hands of other shareholders, comprising Pension Fund Administrators and other individuals.
Kurfi said Otedola started buying into the company in July when the opportunity arose.
However, a reliable source told NAN that it was Oba Otudeko that sold all his stakes due to the issues he had with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“If he put up his shares for sale, anyone that has money is free to buy such shares.
“Otedola is not the only one that bought, someone else bought too.
“Once a company has left 20 per cent of their stake to the public they are within the regulations.
“The only requirement is that those that bought need to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission, once they do that there is no infraction,” said the source.