Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) on Thursday said it has not yet received formal notification of interest in the acquisition of its shares.
“Whilst the Company has not yet received formal notification of any relevant interest in its shares, Transcorp, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate, known for its broad and diversified shareholder base, welcomes every new shareholder acquiring shares in the Company,” Transcorp said in a filing dated Thursday 13 April.
Reports claimed Wednesday that businessman Femi Otedola had purchased a 5.5 per cent stake in Lagos-based Transcorp by way of an off-market deal, making the billionaire the second biggest shareholder in the firm.
But Transcorp issued the statement in response to a query from the Nigerian exchange, seeking clarification on the said share acquisition.
Any share purchase of at least 5 per cent in a company is considered as substantial shareholding and must be disclosed to the Nigerian Exchange immediately according to the bourse’s rulebook.
A substantial shareholder is expected to declare his shareholding to the company “within the 14 days after that person becomes aware that he is a substantial shareholder,” according to Section 120, Subsection 3 of CAMA 2020.
Transactions in Transcorp shares started turning unusually large around 30 March, 455.5 million units traded that day, while 287.7 million, 1.6 billion and 117.5 million were traded on 31 March, 11 April and 12 April respectively.
Shares in Transcorp had already appreciated by 10 per cent at 14:09 WAT on Lagos’ Customs Street on Wednesday following a rare buy pressure on the stock. The 10 per cent is the maximum daily gain allowed by the exchange.
Reports said Mr Otedola had already racked up over 2.2 billion units of Transcorp shares as of Wednesday, equivalent to a 5.5 per cent stake in the company.
Nairametrics, an online platform, reported that a transaction of 1.5 billion shares on Wednesday was conducted between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and Mr Otedola, the majority owner of power-generating company Geregu and the biggest shareholder of Nigeria’s oldest banking institution FBN Holdings.
“We welcome this expression of confidence in the leadership and management of Transcorp, as we continue our unwavering commitment to superior stakeholders’ returns, anchored in our ideology of Africapitalism,” Transcorp said in the Thursday statement, hinting at the purported share acquisition.
Mr Otedola has a reputation for surreptitious off-market acquisitions involving substantial stakes.
In October 2021, the mogul acquired the shares of FBN Holdings in piecemeal, adding up to over 5 per cent in the big lender at the end of that month, and creating an upset that made him the biggest shareholder in the company.
Transcorp, backed by the billionaire mogul and current chair of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu, has considerable investment in power generation, one of Mr Otedola’s biggest bets.
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