Femi Otedola Becomes First Banks’s Largest Shareholder
Nigeria billionaire, Femi Otedola, a billionaire businessman, has taken over First Bank of Nigeria Plc with his recent purchase of about N30 billion worth of shares, making him the bank’s single largest shareholder.
He had a gargantuan loan portfolio of N192 billion in 2012 via his then Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, which was finally passed on to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria.
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This always means that, as the largest shareholder, he owns the most voting shares and, as a result, has the most authority over the bank’s direction.
In 2019, through a merger of his business Zenon Oil and erstwhile African Petrole, he sold his 75 percent direct and indirect stake in Forte Oil.
They were all the more interested in seeing what he would do next. He didn’t keep them guessing for long, as he soon revealed that he wanted to investigate and optimize refining and petrochemicals business potential.
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Despite having assets in the real estate and banking sectors, Otedola selected out First Bank for the simple reason that, unlike other banking companies, there wasn’t exactly one individual in charge.
He left no stone unturned in capitalizing on the leadership crisis that struck First Bank recently, with the Central Bank of Nigeria firing both the bank’s chairman, Ibukun Awosika, and the chairman of FBN Holdings, Obafemi Otudeko.