Battle For Control Of First Bank Gets Tougher As Hassan-Odukale Displaces Otedola As Largest Single shareholder
Barely three days after billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, emerged as the highest shareholder of FBN Holdings, the Chairman of the Group, Mr Tunde Hassan-Odukale, has been confirmed as the largest single shareholder of the company.
Hassan-Odukale was named in a letter published on the website of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd (NGX) on Wednesday.
The letter signed by FBNH’s Company Secretary, Mr Seye Kosoko, said Hassan-Odukale was the single-largest shareholder and not Mr Femi Otedola.
The new development is contrary to claims that the recent stakes of Otedola and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Ltd constituted the largest single stake in the bank.
First Bank had on Monday officially acknowledged that Otedola, the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, had acquired controlling stake in the first-tier bank.
The bank had revealed that until the notification from Otedola’s clients, the shares were held with APT Securities and Funds Limited.
In a notice sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited seen by THE WHISTLER, the Bank stated that the billionaire had acquired a total of 1,818,551,625 units of the bank’s 35,895,292,791 share capital through the two companies.
Listing rules compels an investor who crosses the five percent mark to inform the company within seven days of attaining the substantial shareholder position.
The CAMA act states, “A person is a substantial shareholder in a public company if he holds himself or by his nominee, shares in the company which entitle him to exercise at least 5 per cent of the unrestricted voting rights at any general meeting of the company”.
However, in its 2020 financial statement and H1 2021 financials, First Bank stated that there was no any individual with five percent or above controlling stake.
But in a different twist on Wednesday, the Bank, according to another filing made to the NGX, stated that Hassan-Odukale and Otedola were the only two substantial shareholders with over five per cent equity interest in the company
However, it stated that Hassan-Odukale’s shareholding stands at 5.36 per cent ahead of Otedola who owns 5.07 per cent.
Further breakdown of the data shows that Hassan-Odukale’s direct interest in the bank is 26,231,887 units while he indirectly owns 1,897,280,212 units in the financial Holding Company.
First Bank’s annual report shows that Hassan-Odukale’s direct stake in FBN Holdings was only 8,854,003 units while his indirect stake was 360,961,091 units as at the end of 2020.
FBNH has outstanding shares of 35,895,292,792 units valued at N418.18 billion as at October 27.
Hassan-Odukale’s recent direct and indirect stake in FBN Holdings Plc shows he has been buying the shares of the holding company this year.
Through Leadway Assurance Company Ltd, Hassan-Odukale indirectly holds 755,959,459 units or 2.11 per cent.
Also, through ZPC/Leadway Assurance Prem & Invent Coll Account, he owns 486,605,478 shares of FBN Holding or 1.36 per cent.
While clarifying its record with the NGX regulation, FBN said it classified Hassan-Odukale’s shareholdings into two because of his significant stakes in related parties.
It said, “The reason for classifying the shareholdings of Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale and his related parties into two parts of 4.16 per cent and 1.20 per cent respectively.
“We wish to reiterate and clarify for your records that the notification of the shareholdings of Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale as a Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and thus an Insider, was filed with the NGX and other relevant regulators on October 18, 2021.
“The first part of the shareholding classification (4.16 in per cent), are shares held directly and indirectly by Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale.
“The second part of the shareholding classification (1.20 per cent), are shares ascribed to Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale due to his influence and having significant control.”