Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, who recently upped his stake in FBN Holdings in a bid to firm up his position as its biggest shareholder, said he is not keen about holding a board position in the financial services group, its flagship unit FirstBank and any of its remaining subsidiaries.
The chair of Geregu Energy Group told PREMIUM TIMES in an SMS exchange on Thursday, days after news that he has scaled up his holding in FBN Holdings to 7.5 per cent broke, that he did not acquire shares in FBN Holdings with the intent of becoming its chairman.
“I am simply an investor who saw an opportunity in the financial institution and decided to take advantage of it through the investment I have made.
“My interest, contrary to speculations is not to become chairman of the bank or its holdco. Moreover, I am in semi-retirement.”
Mr Otedola has been in a tussle with Tunde Hassan-Odukale, FirstBank’s chairman, in respect of who takes the prime position on the institution’s ownership ladder.
According to the businessman, his investment decision is premised on the conviction that FBN Holdings has vibrant prospects, is robust and will maintain a dominant place in Nigeria’s financial services space in the foreseeable future.
“Being the single largest shareholder doesn’t mean I must necessarily hold a position in the bank. I believe in allowing competent people run institutions in a professional manner and to the benefit of all the stakeholders,” Mr Otedola said.
He acknowledged FBN Holdings’ reputation as an institution with a world-class corporate governance structure “a strong performing management that creates value and guarantees returns in form of dividends and capital appreciation.”
Analysts estimate Mr Otedola committed N45 billion to attain his total stake of 2,717,282,140 shares in the group.
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