Home » Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola invests $70 million in First Bank over 3 years

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola invests $70 million in First Bank over 3 years

Femi Otedola now owns an 11.64 percent stake in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc, the parent company of Nigeria’s oldest commercial bank.

by Omokolade Ajayi
Femi Otedola

Key Points:


  • Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola has invested $70 million in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc over the past three years.
  • Otedola’s stake in FBN Holdings rose to 11.64% after acquiring 797,946,415 shares for $11.3 million this week.
  • FBN Holdings, led by Otedola, reported a net profit of $149.7 million in Q1 2024, a 315.8% increase from last year.

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola has spent $70 million over the past three years to acquire shares in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBN Holdings), the parent company of Nigeria’s oldest commercial bank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, Otedola, the chairman of FBN Holdings and Geregu Power Plc, has invested a total of N105 billion ($70 million) in FBN Holdings shares. Otedola, with a $1.5 billion fortune, is one of Africa’s leading billionaires and Nigeria’s fourth-richest man.

Recent acquisitions

Earlier this week, Otedola spent N17.22 billion ($11.3 million) to acquire 797,946,415 shares, representing a 2.22 percent stake in FBN Holdings, at an average price of N21.58 ($0.014) per share. This acquisition increased his total stake to 11.64 percent, solidifying his position as the largest shareholder in the leading financial services group.

Otedola’s journey to becoming the largest shareholder in FBN Holdings began in October 2021 when he acquired a 5.07 percent stake, equivalent to 1,818,551,625 shares, for N22.27 billion. He increased his stake to 7.57 percent in December 2021 before reducing it to 5.24 percent by the third quarter of 2022, and boosting back up to 5.57 percent as of December 31, 2023

Rival shareholder activity

In 2023, Obafoluke Otudeko, through his special purpose vehicle Barbican Capital Limited, increased his stake in FBN Holdings to 8.67 percent. In response, Otedola has been aggressively buying shares in 2024, spending an estimated N47.82 billion ($31.2 million) since the start of the year to regain his position as the largest shareholder.

Otedola’s buying spree began in Q1 2024, with the acquisition of 517,939,764 shares for N11.65 billion ($7.77 million), raising his stake to 7.01 percent by March 31. Last week, he further upped the ante by acquiring 863,180,810 shares valued at N18.95 billion ($12.56 million). This increased his total holdings to 9.42 percent, surpassing Otudeko’s stake.

Impact on FBN Holdings

FBN Holdings, one of Nigeria’s most valuable financial services groups, boasts a rich history. Its subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is the country’s oldest commercial bank, with a 130-year legacy of providing development-oriented services and leading financial inclusion efforts in West Africa.

Otedola’s influence extends beyond ownership; his role as chairman of FBN Holdings has significantly impacted the group’s direction. Under his leadership, FBN Holdings in the first quarter of 2024 posted a net profit of N208.2 billion ($149.7 million), a 315.8 percent increase from N50.1 billion ($36 million) in the same period last year.

The group’s total assets grew to N21.58 trillion ($15.51 billion) by March 31, 2024, up from N16.94 trillion ($12.17 billion) at the end of 2023 — this reflects the robust financial health of FBN Holdings under Otedola’s leadership.

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