Home » Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola’s stake in country’s oldest bank is worth $75.5 million

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola’s stake in country’s oldest bank is worth $75.5 million

by Omokolade Ajayi

The shareholding of Nigerian billionaire and leading energy magnate Femi Otedola in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBN Holdings) is presently valued at N31.4 billion ($75.5 million), making him one of the richest investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

FBN Holdings is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates. It serves as the non-operating holding company for First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the country’s oldest commercial bank with active operations in 10 countries.

Otedola, the largest stakeholder in the premier financial services firm, owns 7.57 percent of the tier-1 lender, or 2,717,282,140 ordinary shares.

As of press time on March 14, shares in FBNH on the Nigerian Exchange were valued at N11.55 ($0.02777), giving the banking group a local market worth of N414.6 billion ($997 million).

At the current market price, Otedola’s investment is worth N31.4 billion ($75.5 million), making him one of the bourse’s wealthiest investors.

With assets of N8.5 trillion ($20.4 billion) and shareholders’ equity of N753.5 billion ($1.8 billion), FBNH Holdings is one of Nigeria’s leading financial services firms.

At the conclusion of the first nine months of business in 2021, the firm recorded a profit of N40.9 billion ($98.4 million) compared to a profit of N54.4 billion ($130.8 million) in the same period in 2020.

The 24.8-percent drop in profit at the end of 2021 was mostly supported by lower interest income, which was N260.1 billion ($634.2 million) compared to N297.7 billion ($726.12 million) at the same time last year.

The increase in fee and commission revenue from N73 billion ($175.5 million) to N85.9 billion ($206.6 million) was insufficient to compensate for the impact of lower interest income on profitability.

Despite being the lender’s largest shareholder after acquiring a total 7.57-percent stake in FBNH in the fourth quarter of 2021, the renowned billionaire, who stressed that he is “semi-retired,” revealed that, contrary to speculation, he is not interested in becoming the chairman of First Bank Nigeria or its holding company, FBNH.

“Being the single largest shareholder doesn’t mean I must necessarily hold a position in the bank. I believe in allowing competent people to run institutions in a professional manner and to the benefit of all the stakeholders,” Otedola said.

Aside from his ownership of FBNH, Otedola has interests in shipping, real estate and finance. He has also made millions of dollars in investments in Nigeria’s oil and electricity industries.

Otedola has expanded his share in Geregu Power Plant to 80 percent since acquiring a 57-percent ownership stake in the power-producing firm through Amperion Power Distribution Company in 2013 in a $132-million deal as part of the government’s drive to liberalize Nigeria’s struggling power industry.

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