There are strong indications that the Chairman, Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, has consolidated his shareholding in FBN Holdings Plc as the largest shareholder with the acquisition of 4,770,269,843 units of shares through Barbican Capital Limited, an affiliate of Honeywell Group Limited, representing 13.3 per cent of its 35,895,292,791 outstanding shares of the FBN Holdings.
A notification issued by First Bank Holdings, the parent company of First Bank Nigeria Limited, to its stakeholders signed by the Acting Company Secretary, Adewale Arogundade, confirmed that Otudeko’s Barbican Capital Limited has acquired an aggregate of 4,770,269,843 units of shares from the company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791.
It reads: “This is to inform the public and our stakeholders that the company received a notification dated July 7, 2023, from Honeywell Group Limited that its affiliate, Barbican Capital Limited, has acquired an aggregate of 4,770,269,843 units of shares from the company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791, as at the above referenced date.
“Based on the foregoing, the equity stake of Barbican Capital Limited in the company is 13.3 per cent.”
Barbican Capital Limited was incorporated on March 9, 2023, with registration number RC 6900918. The people listed as significant control are Oyeleye Foluke and Otudeko Obafemi Adedamola.
Reacting on the development, a shareholder and the President of New Dimension Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Patrick Ajudua, said Otudeko’s acquisition of up to 13 per cent stake is within his legal right. He, however, queried the moral ground for such a transaction.
He said: “Well Oba Otundeko buying up 13.3 per cent of shares of FBN is within his legal right to do so. The question is what is the implication. For us as shareholders of the bank, we are taken aback as to the morality of such a step.
“Here is a man removed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as chairman of the bank for reasons of corporate governance lapses and now he is staging a come back. The bank has found its feet and regained its lost glory with proper cleaning of its loan book. The bank has since regained investors’ confidence.
“We request that the CBN and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should strengthen their investors protection apparatus at this time so that investors will not lose investment any more in the capital market.”