How Femi Otedola took over First Bank


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Billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola today took over First Bank of Nigeria Plc as the largest shareholder with his recent acquisition of about N30 billion worth of shares.


From having a humongous loan portfolio of N192 billion in 2012 via his then Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd which was eventually passed on to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, Femi now has the largest share in the bank and can dictate the direction of the bank through his voting power.


In 2019 when he divested his 75% direct and indirect shareholding in  Forte Oil, via a merger of his company Zenon Oil and former African Petroleum, many wondered why he made such a decision especially because of the lucrative nature of the oil and gas sector.


They became all the more curious as to what his next move would be. He didn’t keep them guessing too long as he soon announced that he wanted to explore and maximize business opportunities in refining and petrochemicals.


Even though he also had investments in the real estate and financial sector, Otedola singled out First Bank for the single reason that there wasn’t exactly one man calling the shots there, unlike in other new generation banks.


He wasted no time in taking advantage of the leadership crisis that rocked First Bank not too long ago that the Central Bank of Nigeria sacking both the chairman of the bank, Ibukun Awosika and Obafemi Otudeko, the chairman of FBN Holdings.

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