Some 4.7 billion shares of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings were traded Thursday, the largest in a single day since 2012 when the stock exchange started publishing the data.
The shares were traded at N19 each, bringing the deal to N87.8 billion.
That’s 13 percent of Nigeria’s oldest bank’s outstanding market value, an indication of the significance of the deal.
“It’s clearly a cross deal,” one trader told BusinessDay. “I hear it is Oba Otudeko snapping up the shares,” the trader who was not approved to speak publicly on behalf of his financial institution said.
Another source familiar with the matter said “Everyone suspects it’s Oba Otudeko behind the cross deal.”
First Bank did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Otudeko who held 1.49 percent of First Bank shares in 2021 was the bank’s chairman until 2019 when the bank’s board was dissolved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after allegations of insider trading called the bank’s corporate governance into question.
Billionaire Nigerian investor, Femi Otedola became the bank’s single largest shareholder in 2021 after a tussle with Hassan Odukale, a member of the bank’s board and CEO of Leadway Assurance, who was also vying for control of the bank after Otudeko’s exit.