First Bank Nigeria (FBN) Holdings Plc has named Barbican
Capital Limited, owned by Oba Otudeko, as its majority shareholder-ending
months of uncertainty around the acquisition made in July 2023.
In the company’s unaudited consolidated financial statements
for the period ended December 31, 2023, released on Thursday, FBN Holdings
listed Barbican Capital as its majority shareholder, with Femi Otedola taking
the second spot.
BACKSTORY TO DRAMA
OVER MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER POSITION
In a notice on July 7, 2023, FBN Holdings said it received a
notification also dated July 7, 2023, from Honeywell Group Limited, that its
affiliate, Barbican Capital, acquired 4,770,269,843 units of shares or 13.3
percent stake – indicating the return of Otudeko to the financial institution
he once chaired before he was sacked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in
The acquisition resulted in Otedola losing his spot as the
largest investor in FBN Holdings, as his stake held in the company was around
Despite acknowledging Barbican Capital’s investment, in the
2023 third quarter financial statements, FBN Holdings retained Otedola as its
majority investor, with Otudeko’s name and company missing from the list of
shareholders with 5 percent and above stake.
The exclusion of Otudeko followed the controversy that
surrounded Barbican Capital’s investment, as Ecobank warned FBN Holdings
against accepting the acquisition by Otudeko, over an alleged N13.5 billion
NEW DEVELOPMENT IN
FBN HOLDINGS LIST OF MAJORITY SHAREHOLDERS
It was noted that the shares registered for Barbican Capital
are 4.88 billion as of the end of 2023, representing 13.61 percent stake –
higher than the 4.77 billion units of shares or 13.3 percent stake announced in
July last year.
The statement showed Otedola slightly increased his direct
shares to 40.03 million, representing 0.11 percent stake, from 10 million (0.03
percent) in 2022, while his indirect shares stood at 1.98 billion (5.54
percent), bringing his total shares to 2.02 billion and stake to 5.65 percent
as of the end of last year.
Tunde Hassan-Odukale is the third largest shareholder with
1.59 billion shares representing 4.45 percent stake. He increased his
investment in FBN Holdings from 1.58 billion shares or 4.42 percent stake held
In a letter dated, July 7, 2023, Ecobank accused Otudeko of
“diverting his assets and that of the Honeywell Group of companies through
the said Barbican Capital Limited, in order to frustrate the enforcement of the
judgment of the supreme court against him”.
However, Otudeko said supreme court did not award N13.5
billion judgment debt against him and asked FBN Holdings to disregard Ecobank’s
request for it to reject his acquisition.
Also, according to a fact check carried out by TheCable, although the
supreme court determined that Otudeko’s companies owe Ecobank, it did not state
any amount – indicating Ecobank’s claim that the apex court ruled that there is
a N13.5 billion debt is incorrect.
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