SEC Step In, As Otudeko, FBN Holdings’ Majority Shareholders, Ecobank Disagree Over Acquisition
SEC Step In, As Otudeko, FBN Holdings’ Majority Shareholders, Ecobank Disagree Over Acquisition. Photo Credit: The Street Journal, Appsafrica.com, Premium Times Nigeria

SEC Steps In, As Otudeko, FBN Holdings’ Majority Shareholders, Ecobank Disagree Over Acquisition

11 months ago
1 min read

The acquisition of 4.77 billion shares in FBN Holdings by Oba Otudeko is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On Wednesday, some media reports revealed that the deal is facing the SEC’s scrutiny, as some majority shareholders of FBN Holdings want Otudeko to exit the company days after acquiring the shares of the firm. 

The shares Otudeko acquired represent a 13.3 per cent ownership stake in FBN Holdings and make him the largest shareholder, giving him significant power and influence in the decision-making of the financial institution. 

However, his presence is not welcomed as the majority shareholders are reported to be uniting against Otudeko to ensure he doesn’t take over the affairs of FBN Holdings two years after he was removed from the chairmanship position by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

Otudeko was ousted after the CBN faulted the board he led in 2021 for the poor-performing loans of First Bank and also criticised the then board for sacking the current Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan, without approval from the apex bank. 

In the new development, it was revealed that the SEC hasn’t taken a position yet, instead, waiting until the conclusion of the probe. 

“Presently, the SEC has not taken any position on the matter as it requires a careful investigation,” a source in SEC told The Cable. 

Meanwhile, the deal is facing a challenge from Ecobank, as the financial institution demanded FBN Holdings reject Otudeko’s acquisition. 

Ecobank said Otudeko is still owing the company N13.5 billion, as ruled by the Supreme Court in January. The firm insinuated that the investor could use FBN Holdings to divert funds.

In a letter to FBN Holdings, Ecobank said: “We therefore demand that you respectfully stay/reject/approval/consent/registration/ ratification {howsoever described or in whatsoever manner} of the shares bought by the said Barbican Capital Limited held via the afforested entities, as proceeding with such approval/registration will be tantamount to assisting in the diversion of funds/assets meant for the payment of the debt which has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.” 

However, Otudeko denied the claim of being indebted to Ecobank, stating that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court made such a declaration. He also cautioned FBN Holdings against releasing some details of the transaction as requested by Ecobank.


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