Efforts are underway by majority shareholders of FBN Holding to prevent Oba Otudeko from taking control of the financial institution. This comes after Otudeko’s company, Barbican Capital, acquired a majority stake in the bank by purchasing 4,770,269,843 shares worth N87.8 billion in a cross deal last week.
The shares, bought at N19 per unit, represent the largest volume of First Bank shares traded in a single day since 2012. Otudeko’s total shareholding in the bank now stands at 14 percent of its outstanding market value.
Previously, Femi Otedola held the largest shareholding but has now dropped to second place with a nine percent stake. Hassan Odukale and Mike Adenuga are joint third with seven percent each, while Saheed Arisekola holds a five percent stake.
However, investigations reveal that majority shareholders of FBN Holdings, including GMD/CEO Nnamdi Okonkwo, Sola Adeduntan, Mike Adenuga, and the Arisekola family, are exploring regulatory options to prevent Otudeko’s takeover.
It is worth noting that in April 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) removed Otudeko as chairman and sacked the board of First Bank, citing its intervention to prevent the bank’s collapse due to bad loans and poor capital adequacy ratios.
The current restructuring of First Bank was led by the new board, backed by majority shareholders such as Femi Otedola, Oye Hassan Odukale, Mike Adenuga, and the family of Late Azeez Arisekola Alao.
Shareholders are concerned about the potential repercussions of having Otudeko regain control of the bank, considering the issues he had with the CBN in the past. They believe they have enough voting power to block his return and are also investigating possible regulatory breaches related to Otudeko’s declaration of his holdings.