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Femi Otedola Increases First Bank Shares After $12.5M Purchase Last Week

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola has spent a whopping $11.3 million to buy more shares in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBN Holdings), the parent company of Nigeria’s oldest commercial bank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, cementing his position as the lender’s largest shareholder.

Otedola, chairman of FBN Holdings and Geregu Power Plc, purchased 797,946,415 shares for a 2.22 percent holding in FBN Holdings at an average price of N21.58 ($0.014) per share. On Monday, June 24, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) performed a transaction worth N17.22 billion ($11.3 million). This latest acquisition raises Otedola’s overall ownership to 11.64 percent, solidifying his position as a leading player in the African financial services market.

Last week, Odedola bought 863,180,810 shares through Calvados Global Services Limited, one of his firms. This purchase, made on June 20 for N18.95 billion ($12.56 million), upped his shares from 7.01 percent to 9.42 percent, surpassing Obafoluke Otudeko, who has an 8.67 percent stake through Barbican Capital Limited.

FBN Holdings, one of Nigeria’s most valued financial services organizations, has a rich history. Its subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is the country’s oldest commercial bank, with a 130-year history of providing development services and spearheading financial inclusion efforts in West Africa.

First Bank is one of Africa’s most enduring financial services brands, both nationally and internationally. The bank’s influence extends beyond Nigeria with subsidiaries in key African markets such as Ghana, Senegal, and Gambia, as well as a representative office in Beijing and branches in London and Paris.

Femi Otedola’s interest in FBN Holdings began in October 2021 with a 5.07 percent stake. His continuous purchases have greatly grown his shares, reflecting his strategic commitment to the banking company. In Q1 2024, Otedola increased his holding by purchasing 517,939,764 shares worth N11.65 billion ($7.77 million).

Otedola’s power has grown beyond ownership; his nomination as chairman of FBN Holdings has strengthened his control over the company’s destiny. Under his leadership, FBN Holdings announced a 127-percent profit rise in the 2023 fiscal year, exceeding $210 million. The group’s earnings was N310.01 billion ($219.25 million), up significantly from N136.31 billion ($96.4 million) the previous year.

In the first quarter of 2024, FBN Holdings reported a net profit of N208.2 billion ($149.7 million), up 315.8 percent from N50.1 billion ($36 million) in the same period last year. The group’s total assets increased to N21.58 trillion ($15.51 billion) on March 31, 2024, from N16.94 trillion ($12.17 billion) at the end of 2023. This growth indicates FBN Holdings’ strong financial health under Otedola’s leadership.

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