After Initial Disclaimer, FBN Holdings Says Otedola Now Holds 5.07% Shares

The board of FBN Holdings Plc, on Saturday, said Otedola Olufemi Peter, former chairman of Forte Oil Plc (now Ardova Plc), and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited now own 5.07% of its issued and fully-paid shares, as of October 22, 2021.

A statement by Seye Kosoko, the group’s company secretary, in a statement through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, on Saturday, said Otedola and his nominee, “have acquired a total of 1,818,551,625 units of shares from the Company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791“ units.

This was after the group had in an earlier statement to the NGX on the same day denounced news report also on Friday, October 22, 2021, “purporting that a certain individual has acquired a significant shareholding interest in FBN Holdings Plc (the company) therefore makes him the majority shareholder in the Company.

“As a listed company, the shares of FBN Holdings Plc are publicly traded, and 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, “ Kosoko had stressed.

Continuing, Kosoko said FBN Holdings “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.”

In the follow-up statement, Kosoko said the board, in line with its promise to “inform the public of any substantial acquisition, upon receipt of notification from the shareholder,” in the “morning of October 23, 2021, FBN Holdings Plc received a notification from APT Securities and Funds Limited, that their client (Otedola) acquired enough shares to raise his stake to the 5% threshold.

Recall that Investdata News had reported that on October 7, stockbrokers traded a total of 573,567,857 units of FBN Holdings Plc at N10.05 per share and that a significant 473m of these changed hands in an Off-market trade by way of a cross-deal by FBN Quest Securities Limited N16 per unit, representing a premium of 64.95 percent of previous day’s closing N9.70 share price.

On September 6, also, 286.184m units of FBN Holdings were traded at N7.48; followed on September 20, by 496.318m shares at N7.50 each; while six days later, the group’s 325.355m units were exchanged at N7.65 per unit; before the latest one.

Nairametrics, an online business and economy newspaper had reported that an entity owned by the billionaire investor is behind a massive mop-up of the shares of FBN Holding, quoting multiple sources with knowledge of the purchase.

Otedola, the report noted, thus becomes the only shareholder “with up to 5% of the ownership of the banking behemoth… setting himself up to be the single largest shareholder of the bank. According to our sources, shares of FBNH have been mopped up over the course of the last 6 months when the share price traded at just above N7.”

Nairametrics sources further revealed off-market block purchases ranging in the hundreds of millions of units were reported by traders with the knowledge of the transaction even though it was not immediately clear who was behind the purchases. As the rumours swirled in October, FBNH share price rose as high as N12 per share gaining 69% in two weeks.