Otedola Takes Over as FBN Holdings Chairman

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By Dipo Olowookere

Prominent Nigerian businessman, Mr Femi Otedola, has been appointed as the chairman of FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank Nigeria Limited, a foremost lender in the country.

He was picked for the position at the meeting of the board of the organisation held on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

He is taking over the post from Mr Ahmad Abdullahi, after he joined the board in August 2023 as a non-executive director.

Mr Otedola, who has been described as a visionary entrepreneur, is also the chairman of Geregu Power Plc, a company also listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited like FBN Holdings.

Recall that in December 2018, he divested from the defunct Forte Oil Plc by selling his stake to Ignite Consortium led by Prudent Energy Services Limited. The company transformed into Ardova Plc after the completion of the transaction in 2019.

In October 2021, the businessman acquired a 5.07 per cent stake in FBN Holdings Plc, sparking speculations that he was trying to take over the leadership of the company.

FBN Holdings, thereafter, said it was unaware of this deal to calm nerves.

“The attention of FBN Holdings Plc has been drawn to media reports today, October 22, 2021, purporting that a certain individual has acquired a significant shareholding interest in FBN Holdings Plc, therefore, making him the majority shareholder in the company.

“As a listed company, the shares of FBN Holdings Plc are publicly traded, and the sale and acquisition of shares is expected in the normal course of business. We operate in a regulated environment, which requires notification of significant shareholding by shareholders to the company, where shares are held in different vehicles, further to which the company will 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,” a statement from the company stated.

But barely 24 hours afterwards, it confirmed that Mr Otedola had acquired N30 billion worth of FBN Holdings equities on the stock exchange.

“We refer to our communication to the market dated October 22, 2021, 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, October 23, 2021, FBN Holdings Plc received a notification from APT Securities and Funds Limited, that their client, Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter, and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited, 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,” it said.

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