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Otedola Reveals How Tony Elumelu Took Over His Shares in UBA, Africa Finance Corporation

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Femi Otedola

Billionaire businessman Femi Otedola has made shocking revelations about how fellow billionaire and owner of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, allegedly took over his shares in UBA and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) after he went bankrupt in Nigeria.

In an official statement obtained by Investors King, Otedola disclosed that in 2005, while Elumelu was the Managing Director of Standard Trust Bank, he approached him for funds to acquire UBA. Otedola enthusiastically gave him $20 million, which was N2 billion at the time, to buy the necessary shares for the acquisition. After a short period, the share price moved up, and Otedola decided it was a good moment to sell and get out of the bank. However, Elumelu appealed to him to hold on to the shares as he was convinced that there were future prospects, and Otedola kept the shares.

Otedola also revealed that he became Chairman of Transcorp Hotel in 2007 with a shareholding of 5%, and unknowingly, Elumelu gradually started buying shares quietly. By the following year in 2008, Otedola went bankrupt in Nigeria, and Elumelu allegedly proceeded to take over his shares in UBA to service the interest on his loans. Elumelu also allegedly took over his shares in AFC, where Otedola was the largest shareholder.

Furthermore, Otedola disclosed that in 2012, Elumelu outbid him by offering to buy Ughelli Power Plant for $300 million after he had disclosed his intention to go into the power business. Otedola had offered to buy Transcorp Plc for N250 billion, but his offer was rejected.

Femi Otedola’s recent acquisition of 2.6 billion shares or 6.3% of Transcorp’s shares might be related to his revelation that Tony Elumelu took over his shares in UBA and Africa Finance Corporation. It has been alleged by an anonymous source that Elumelu paid Otedola a premium of 400% on Transcorp’s closing price to obtain his block of shares.

This would mean that Otedola received around N12.5 per share, resulting in a payout of approximately N32.5 billion for his 2.6 billion shares.

The revelations have raised eyebrows and stirred up tensions between the two business moguls. Otedola’s accusations paint Elumelu as a ruthless businessman who allegedly took advantage of his relationship with Otedola to take over his shares in UBA and AFC when he was vulnerable. It also raises questions about the fairness of business practices in Nigeria’s corporate sector.

Efforts to reach Elumelu for comment on the matter were unsuccessful. However, with Otedola’s allegations now in the public domain, it remains to be seen how Elumelu will respond and what actions will be taken by regulatory bodies to ensure transparency and accountability in the Nigerian business environment.

Femi Otedola Full Official Statement 

In 2005, while Tony was the Managing Director of Standard Trust Bank he approached me to get funds to acquire UBA. I enthusiastically gave him $20million, which was N2 billion at that time to buy the necessary shares in UBA for the acquisition. After a short period of time the share price moved up and I decided it is was a good moment to sell and get out of the bank. However, Tony appealed to me to hold on to the shares as he was convinced that there were future prospects – so I kept the shares.

I became Chairman of Transcorp Hotel in 2007 with a shareholding of 5% and unknowingly Tony gradually started buying shares quietly.

By the following year in 2008 I went bankrupt in Nigeria. Tony proceeded to take my shares in UBA to service the interest on my loans and he also took over my shares in Africa Finance Corporation, where I was the largest shareholder.

Shortly after, Albert Okumagba informed me that an American firm wanted to acquire my shares in Transcorp, which I then agreed to sell. However, this supposed American firm turned out to be Tony Elumelu. The revelation of this prompted me to resign as Chairman of the hotel.

Years later in 2012 Tony said he wanted to see me so we met in my office where I had previously had a meeting with foreign investors who had not yet departed the premises. Curious to know, he asked what sort of meeting I had had and I disclosed that I wanted to go into the power business, specifically Ughelli Power Plant. Tony quietly went ahead to bid for Ughelli and he outbidded me by offering to buy the plant for $300million.

And as a some would say: the rest is history.

Fast forward to the present…

I offered to buy Transcorp Plc for N250 billion, but unfortunately, my offer was rejected. My goal was to maximize the company’s potential as a Nigerian conglomerate with a market cap of at least N2 trillion instead of the current N40 billion, but it seems some shareholders have a different vision.

As a businessman, I believe in healthy competition and market dynamics. Two captains cannot man a ship, and I respect the majority shareholder’s decision to buy me out. This is the nature of the game.

But let me be clear: my offer was made with the best intentions for Transcorp Plc and its shareholders. I saw an opportunity to unlock the company’s full potential and create value for everyone involved.

It’s important for investors to understand that free entry and free exit are crucial to healthy markets. The scramble for shares after my acquisition is a testament to the value that Transcorp Plc can offer, and I hope the company continues to thrive under new leadership.

My message to Transcorp Plc and its shareholders is this: I remain committed to the growth and success of Nigerian businesses, and I will always be looking for ways to create value for all stakeholders. Stakeholders are unfortunately always shortchanged by getting stipends while the owners and managers of the business live a jet set lifestyle, which is detrimental to the stakeholders. Thank you for the opportunity to engage in this exciting chapter of Transcorp’s history.

FO

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Billionaire Femi Otedola Bolsters Stake in FBN Holdings, Becomes Largest Shareholder

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Femi Otedola

Billionaire businessman Femi Otedola has solidified his position as the largest shareholder of FBN Holdings after acquiring a substantial number of shares through both direct and indirect investments.

The transaction, which took place on June 20, 2024, saw Mr. Otedola’s personal investment vehicle, Calvados Global Services Limited, and himself collectively purchase a total of 863,180,810 ordinary shares of FBN Holdings.

This acquisition amounted to 546,674,034 shares purchased by Calvados Global Services Limited at a price of N21.97 per share, and 316,506,776 shares bought directly by Mr. Otedola at N21.91 per share.

The combined investment value of these acquisitions totals N18,950,313,232.34, a significant financial commitment by Mr. Otedola to bolster his influence within one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions.

In February 2024, Femi Otedola owned 1,989,342,376 indirect units, constituting 5.54% of FBN Holdings’ total shareholding, alongside 40,033,982 direct shares, amounting to 0.11%.

Combined, his holdings stood at 2,029,376,358 shares, equivalent to about 5.65% of the company’s shares.

At that time, Oba Otudeko’s Barbican Capital Limited held the largest stake in the bank.

However, following his acquisition of an additional 863,180,810 shares valued at N18,950,313,232.34 on June 20, 2024, Otedola has now emerged as FBN Holdings’ largest shareholder.

Otedola has now emerged as FBN Holdings’ largest shareholder.

The billionaire’s decision to augment his stake in FBN Holdings aligns with his broader investment strategy in Nigeria’s financial sector.

It also reflects his confidence in the long-term growth and stability of the banking industry amidst evolving economic conditions.

Industry analysts have noted that Mr. Otedola’s move not only strengthens his position within FBN Holdings but also signals a vote of confidence in the leadership and strategic direction of the bank under current market conditions.

As the largest shareholder, Mr. Otedola’s increased influence is expected to have implications for the governance and operational decisions of FBN Holdings, potentially shaping its future trajectory in Nigeria’s banking landscape.

The acquisition comes at a time when the Nigerian economy is navigating various challenges, including inflationary pressures and regulatory changes.

Mr. Otedola’s expanded stake in FBN Holdings positions him uniquely to influence and contribute to the resilience and growth of the institution amid these dynamics.

With this latest development, all eyes are on how Mr. Otedola’s enhanced role will impact FBN Holdings’ strategic initiatives, shareholder relations, and overall performance in the coming quarters.

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Elon Musk Reclaims World’s Richest Title with $6 Billion AI Startup Boost

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Elon Musk X

Elon Musk has once again ascended to the top of the global wealth rankings, surpassing Bernard Arnault, after his new artificial intelligence startup, xAI, secured $6 billion in funding.

This latest financial windfall has catapulted Musk’s net worth to an astonishing $209.2 billion, outstripping Arnault’s $199.3 billion and placing Jeff Bezos in second place with an estimated $199.9 billion as of May 30, 2024.

The announcement, made during the Memorial Day weekend, highlighted the significant investment in xAI, which now boasts a pre-money valuation of $18 billion.

Musk’s 60% stake in the startup is estimated to be worth $14.4 billion, further solidifying his financial dominance.

This valuation surge is particularly noteworthy considering the involvement of investors from Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, now rebranded.

Musk’s wealth is predominantly derived from his substantial holdings in Tesla and SpaceX. His nearly 12% stake in Tesla and 42% stake in SpaceX are each valued at approximately $75 billion.

Despite Tesla’s fluctuating stock prices and the rising valuation of SpaceX, Musk’s financial prowess remains robust.

Also, Forbes estimates that the value of Musk’s 74% stake in his social media company has decreased to around $7 billion, nearly 70% less than its purchase price in 2022.

In a significant legal development, a Delaware judge invalidated nearly $50 billion in performance-based Tesla stock options granted to Musk in 2018, citing unfair award processes.

Tesla shareholders are set to vote on reapproving these options on June 13, which could further impact Musk’s financial status.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is reportedly aiming for a valuation of $200 billion, up from $180 billion last December, indicating a continued upward trajectory for Musk’s ventures.

The Forbes Real Time Billionaire Index, as of May 30, reflects the shifting fortunes of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

Musk now leads with $209.2 billion, followed by Bezos at $199.9 billion, and Arnault at $199.3 billion.

Other notable figures in the top ten include Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer.

Musk’s remarkable financial rebound underscores the volatile nature of the global wealth rankings and the significant impact of strategic investments in emerging technologies.

As xAI continues to develop, it will be intriguing to observe how Musk leverages this new venture to maintain his position as the world’s richest person.

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Vietnam Court Sentences Real Estate Tycoon to Death Over $12.46 Billion Fraud Case

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Truong My Lan

A court in Vietnam has sentenced real estate tycoon Truong My Lan to death for her involvement in a $12.46 billion financial fraud case.

The verdict delivered on Thursday comes after a trial that began on March 5 and ended earlier than anticipated, drawing attention both domestically and internationally.

Truong My Lan, the chairwoman of real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, was found guilty of embezzlement, bribery, and violations of banking regulations in the bustling business hub of Ho Chi Minh City.

Despite pleading not guilty to the charges of embezzlement and bribery, the court handed down a death sentence for the embezzlement charge and 20 years each for the other two offenses.

The trial and subsequent verdict are part of a broader crackdown on corruption spearheaded by Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party, led by Nguyen Phu Trong, who has long vowed to eradicate corruption from the country’s political and economic landscape.

The case revolves around allegations of massive embezzlement and financial mismanagement within Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), which Truong My Lan effectively controlled through a network of proxies.

Prosecutors accused her of siphoning off over 304 trillion dong from the bank through illicit loans to shell companies and other unlawful practices.

Truong My Lan’s rise from a cosmetics trader to a prominent figure in Vietnam’s financial world adds a layer of intrigue to the case. Starting her career in the central market of Ho Chi Minh City, she founded Van Thinh Phat in 1992 and quickly ascended to prominence in the real estate sector.

However, her fall from grace has been swift and dramatic, culminating in the unprecedented death sentence.

The trial also implicated several others, including Lan’s husband, Eric Chu, and her niece, who received lengthy prison terms for their roles in the fraud scheme.

The court’s decision reflects the severity with which Vietnam is addressing corruption within its borders, with the government keen to demonstrate its commitment to accountability and transparency.

Despite the verdict, some remain skeptical about the effectiveness of Vietnam’s anti-corruption efforts, pointing to widespread bribery and graft across various sectors.

However, the sentencing of Truong My Lan sends a strong message that no one, regardless of their status or influence, is above the law in Vietnam’s pursuit of justice and integrity.

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