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First Bank reacts to Otedola’s alleged takeover

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FBN Holdings Plc has said that it is not aware of billionaire, Femi Otedola’s widely-reported share acquisitions.

POLITICS NIGERIA recalls that reports emerged on Friday that an entity owned by Otedola is behind a massive mop-up of the shares of FBN Holding, one of Nigeria’s tier one banks. The reports claim Otedola is now the majority shareholder of the bank “with an announcement imminent in the coming days”.

But now, the holding company for First Bank of Nigeria Limited, in a statement signed by its Company Secretary, Seyi Kosoko, and filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Friday, said it had not received any notification of such acquisitions.

It said, “The attention of FBN Holdings Plc has been drawn to media reports today (Friday) that a certain individual has acquired significant shareholding interest in FBN Holdings Plc.

“As a listed company, the shares of FBN Holdings are publicly traded, and sale and acquisition of shares is expected in the normal course of business. We operate in a regulated environment, which requires notification of significant shareholding by shareholders to the company, where shares are held in different vehicles, further to which the company will notify the regulators and the public as appropriate.

“The company is yet to receive any notification from the individual mentioned in the media report, of such acquisitions.”

Otedola is a former chairman of Forte Oil PLC, an importer of fuel products. He is the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, and the owner of a number of other businesses across shipping, real estate and finance. He has recently invested in power generation.

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