The Humbling of Tunde Odukale! Multibillionaire Femi Otedola Is Now Officially The Largest Shareholder In First Bank

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The Humbling of Tunde Odukale! Multibillionaire Femi Otedola Is Now Officially The Largest Shareholder In First Bank

November 20
17:36 2021

• How the billionaire magnate crushed bank’s plot to make Hassan-Odukale its biggest stockholder

Without a doubt, Multibillionaire businessman, Femi Otedola personifies the kernel of Vince Lombardi’s famous quote: “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit.”

Like an indefatigable mariner, Otedola rides the storms, bolstered by a tenacious spirit and mulish resolve to excel and arrive with his dreams intact, on pliant coasts. Today, that unyielding spirit of his has paid off. It has seen him through the teething and oft tumultuous stages of the cut-throat world of global commerce till he emerged unhurt and stronger in spirit and resolve like a champ.

Yes, he embraced silence as if he had been defeated. And condoned wild news of his rout without a wince. But unknown to mischief makers, while they huddled to rejoice at his perceived ouster, Otedola had taken the wind out of the sail of their pirate ship.

Like the proverbial generalissimo, who grabs victory right out of the jaws of defeat, the billionaire businessman took the fight to the faceless mafia plotting his dethronement as the largest single shareholder of FBN Holdings Plc, and crushed them. No doubt, Odukale’s ego has been brutalised and smashed to smithereens like badly cast figurine caught in the wheel of a garbage truck.

It’s now official, Nigeria’s National Pension Commission (PenCom) has dismissed recent claims by FBN Holdings that Tunde Hassan-Odukale is the largest shareholder in the country’s oldest financial services group, First Bank Nigeria Holdings, ahead of Nigerian billionaire businessman Femi Otedola.

According to a press statement doing the rounds, PenCom disclosed that a fraction of the 5.36-percent stake in FBN Holdings attributed to Hassan-Odukale, an insurance mogul and the managing director of Leadway Assurance Company Limited, belongs to Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders, and not to a third party as FBN Holdings had previously claimed.

PenCom’s clarification follows a disclosure by FBN Holdings on Oct. 8 that the Nigerian businessman holds a 5.36-percent stake in FBN Holdings, as a 2.11-percent shareholding attributed to Leadway Pensure PFA were counted in his favor.

The stakes were ascribed to him due to his influence and position in Leadway Assurance Company.

With the clarification, Hassan-Odukale’s stake in the bank is likely to amount to less than four percent. This gives Otedola, the former owner of Forte Oil (now Ardova Plc) the status of the single largest shareholder in FBN Holdings, with a 5.07-percent stake in the group.

FBN Holdings wholly owns First Bank, Nigeria’s largest commercial bank.

The recent development puts Otedola in a comfortable position – he could now demand seats on the group’s board, or even his appointment as chairman, as he holds the most voting power in the bank. Otedola has been silent about his plans since his stake in the bank was declared weeks ago.

As of the closing of the exchange yesterday, Nov. 19, shares in FBN Holdings were worth N11.5 ($0.02798), 43-basis points higher than its opening price for the day.

At the current share price, Otedola’s 5.07-percent stake in the financial services group is valued at N20.91 billion ($50.91 million).



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