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Femi Otedola goes after Remi Babalola’s seat, as First Bank investors pocket N163.32bn amid takeover



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Femi Otedola has reportedly acquired a majority share in First Bank as the Nigerian billionaire plots a takeover of the lender following the ouster of Oba Otudeko in April – and this has handed the bank’s investors N163.32 billion.

The report of Otedola mopping First Bank shares off the Nigerian stock exchange floor comes days after Ripples Nigeria reported the financial institutions stock value rose by 57.7 percent in the opening two weeks of October.

The share appreciation is allegedly linked to Otedola’s presence in the capital market, as he purchases stocks from First Bank’s 34.7 billion shares floating freely at the Nigerian bourse, to take up a 5 percent control.

Otedola aiming for chairmanship at First Bank

Before Otudeko was sacked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for bad practices according to Godwin Emefiele, he owned a total of 537.9 million shares (5.89 million direct shares and 532.07 million indirect shares).

Otudeko also served as Chairman, but was replaced with Remi Babalola (who owns 302,417 shares; indirect 195,468 and direct 106,949) temporarily, and this position will soon be snapped up by Otedola.

Currently, there isn’t any individual shareholder with 5 percent or more according to confirmation by Ripples Nigeria, but Otedola is now holding 5 percent or more through its investment vehicles, one of them being Calvados Global Services Ltd, according to Nairametrics.

READ ALSO: Otedola donates N5bn for North East intervention

First Bank hasn’t reported these multiple transactions linked to Otedola, but companies are mandated to disclose the deals of individuals with substantial shareholding.

Influence of Otedola on First Bank market value

Ripples Nigeria traces Otedola’s influence in the last ten months, and notes that his presence had to do more good in the three weeks of October, as First Bank’s market value rose by 50.3 percent.

When compared to the period between January to September 28, the company’s stock value had been sluggish, trading between N7.15kobo and N7.55kobo, rising by 12.5 percent in nine months, but rose to N12.1kobo in October, from N8.05 by September 29.

The appreciation in stock value earned First Bank shareholders N163.32 billion in three weeks, as total stakeholders’ investment rose to N434.33 billion, up from the N271 billion of September 28.

The presence of Otedola had signified a positive future for the firm, reason for investors renewing their interest in First Bank, while other existing investors held on to their shares, as the Nigerian billionaire is known for turning around companies, a feat he achieved with African Petroleum and Geregu Power Plant.

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