- Femi Otedola has stretched the battle for the ownership of First Bank Nigeria Holding Nigeria as he continues to battle rival Tunde Odukale
- The bank's shares crossed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange this week for four consecutive days with 1.1 billion shares
- Odukale is yet to announce the latest move as he continues to serve as a director in Nigeria's oldest bank
The battle for who owns Nigeria's oldest bank, First Bank, got interesting on Friday as news filtered in that billionaire investor, Femi Otedola, has increased his shareholding in the bank to 7.5 per cent as against 5.3 per cent which became rancorous between him and Tunde Odukale, a director in the bank.
The billionaire businessman's latest manoeuvre was disclosed in a letter to the bank by Otedola dated December 9, 2021. The disclosure officially makes him the single largest majority shareholder of the bank, at least according to the public disclosure of ownership that has now been made, Nairametrics says.
About 1.1 billion units of First Bank of Nigeria’s shares have crossed in the last four days indicating that the battle for the control of one of the most popular banks in Nigeria got heated.
Shares cross at the stock exchange when the demand to buy matches demands to sell at the same price which makes execution unnecessary.
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The Information is from the trade volume recorded by the company on the NGX trading engine.
A look into the data shows 128.8 million, 364 million, 441.9 million and 228.5 million shares of the bank were traded on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively, as per a Nairametrics report.
Sources with the understanding of the trades indicate a large portion of the trade were off-market block trades similar to the pattern recorded weeks before Otedola was declared as having purchased over 5% of the bank stakes.
Tussle for control
FBN Holdings, the parent company of First Bank, for the past two months has been embroiled in a controversy as major shareholders fight for control of the large chunk of the ownership of the bank.
Femi Otedola and Calvados Holdings own 5.07% of the shares of FBN Holdings.
Tunde Odukale, a sitting director of the bank, equally told the bank that he has direct and not so indirect ownership amounting to about 5.36% of the FBNH through several entities tied to Leadway Pensure.
This led PENCOM to reportedly issue a release discrediting the claim, explaining that the ownership of pension funds belongs to contributors. It cannot be added to cumulative shares of any shareholder or related party who may be claiming it as part of their indirect ownership of the bank.
This leaves Otedola as the current largest shareholder of the bank based on the official statement of FBNH. However, the latest 9 months’ audited report of the bank did not provide any disclosure indicating any other shareholder had 5% and above of the shares.
Emefiele delighted two billionaires fight for First Bank
Legit.ng had reported that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, expressed satisfaction with the power struggle for control of First Bank Holdings, the parent company of First Bank.
Femi Otedola and Taiwo Hassan Odukale have been at odds over who holds the most shares in First Bank.
Reacting to FBN leadership tussle, Emefiele said the tussle is not only a positive development but shows that CBN has been taking the right step to keep First Bank alive.