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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola acquires significant stake in First Bank of Nigeria Holdings

Otedola remains one of Nigeria’s wealthiest businessmen, who has conquered industries ranging from banking to oil and gas.

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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola has acquired a significant stake in the leading Nigerian bank First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBNH) in a deal worth N35 billion ($85 million) or more.

FBNH is the holding company that owns the leading Nigerian bank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

According to reports, the billionaire made the acquisition through his investment vehicle, Calvados Global Services Limited, which was at the forefront of his sale of a 75-percent stake in Forte Oil Plc to Prudent Energy in 2019.

The stake that he acquired in FBNH was confirmed by stockbrokers to be between eight and 12 percent, making him the largest shareholder in the tier-1 Nigerian bank ahead of fellow billionaire Mike Adenuga, Nigerian tycoon Obafoluke Otudeko, Tunde Hassan-Odukale and Remi Babalola.

The acquisition sent FBNH’s market cap above the $1-billion mark

FBNH has a free float unit of 35,773,669,647 ordinary shares, which translates to 99.67 percent of the company’s issued shares.

Otedola’s acquisition of the stake has sent the holding’s share price up by more than 60 percent in the past 28 days. Its market capitalization skyrocketed from a valuation of N267.4 billion ($650.6 million) on Sept. 24 to N440 billion ($1.07 billion) as of the time of writing.

Experts believe Otedola paid between N35 billion ($85 million) and N40 billion ($97 million) for the stake, as he was able to average down the acquisition cost by buying shares in low-price ranges and picking up declining volumes at higher prices, a rare technique in high-level trade management.

What this means for First Bank of Nigeria and the financial services industry

The deal will see Otedola become a dominant force in the Nigerian banking industry, alongside bank owners like Jim Ovia of Zenith Bank, Tony Elumelu of United Bank for Africa and Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited is one of the top five banks in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. As of June 30, the bank was the fourth-largest in the country, with total assets valued at N8.02 trillion, eclipsing Guaranty Trust Holdings, whose assets are valued at N5.02 trillion.

The decision to acquire the stake in FBNH aligns with Otedola’s interests in the Nigerian banking industry. Before the acquisition, he held stakes in numerous Nigerian banks over the years.

As of 2007, when he acquired an additional 29.3-percent stake in African Petroleum through Zenon Petroleum, the billionaire invested massively to become the largest shareholder in a number of banks, including Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa.

Otedola played a key role in making Forte Oil (formerly African Petroleum) a dominant player in the Nigerian downstream oil industry until he sold his stake to Prudent Energy in 2019.

In this same vein, Otedola is expected to bring fresh ideas to drive forward the bank’s growth. The billionaire will deploy his many years of managerial experience in the Nigerian banking sector to create increased value for shareholders and usher in technological innovations.

The acquisition opens up the debate on who will become FBNH’s next chairman

Otedola remains one of Nigeria’s wealthiest businessmen. It is difficult to provide an accurate assessment of Otedola’s net worth, as he owns businesses across the shipping, real estate and finance sectors, aside from his positions in the Geregu Power Plant and Zenon Petroleum.

The latest acquisition, which makes him the largest shareholder in FBNH, has sparked a fresh debate among investors and stock traders as to who the next chairman of the holding company will be, as Otedola now holds the highest voting power in the bank.

Recall that earlier this year the Central Bank of Nigeria sacked Obafemi Otudeko as chairman of FBNH and Ibukun Awosika as chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

Subsequently, the apex bank appointed Remi Babalola as chairman of FBNH and Tunde Hassan-Odukale as chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

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African-American billionaire Oprah Winfrey files lawsuit against creators of ‘Oprahdemics’ podcast

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions.

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Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, a well-known African-American billionaire and talkshow host, has filed a lawsuit against the creators of the “Oprahdemics” podcast through her company, Harpo Productions, claiming that the program misleads the public into believing she sponsored or approved it.

According to Reuters, Winfrey, the wealthiest Black woman in the United States and one of the world’s richest Black billionaires, stated that she is neither seeking profit nor damages from the creators of “Oprahdemics,” and she is not attempting to halt the podcast.

She demanded that the podcast’s name be changed because its live events dilute Harpo’s “Oprah” and “O” trademarks and that the use of the word capitalizes on the goodwill that she has spent decades building, a move she said could cause irreparable harm to Harpo’s reputation.

Many consider Winfrey, who turned her hit talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which aired for 25 years, into a media and business empire, to be an institution.

Winfrey returned to the small screen in 2020 on Apple TV+ for an interview show about COVID-19 as part of a multiyear deal with the streamer.

Since the start of the year, her net worth has declined from $2.6 billion to $2.5 billion at the time of writing this report, resulting in a total loss of $100 million for the leading businesswoman.

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions, which has worked on films like “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma.”

She also has a 25.5-percent stake in the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel that she launched in 2011, and a seven-percent stake in Weight Watchers, a global company that provides weight loss and maintenance services, which is presently worth $492 million.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.

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Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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