Tony Elumelu vs Femi Otedola: 3 Signs of Battle Between the Billionaires
Nigerian economist,Tony Elumelu and the Nigerian oil magnate Femi Otedola have been on the news lately due to some acquisitions related to the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp). The two entrepreneurs have demonstrated some acts which depict signs of discord between the duo.
Elumelu, who was the largest shareholder of Trancorp, kicked out Otedola after he acquired a minority stake in the company. The act which eventually led to Otedola selling all his shares in the company to Elumelu have stirred up conversations of a possible strife between the billionaires.
Let’s take a look at some of the signs that point to an intending strife between the Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Otedola and Elumelu struggle for Transcorp
Femi Otedola acquired a 5.52 percent stake in Transcorp which increased his interest in the conglomerate to 6.3 percent and eventually made him the largest shareholder of the company. Tony Elumelu on the other hand was driven by this move and went ahead to acquire an additional 9.7 billion shares in separate deals to increase his combined stake in the group to 10.5 billion shares or 25.9 per cent, securing his position as the largest shareholder.
These acquisitions that happened within a few weeks and have been reported that Otedola’s move was an attempt to assume control of Transcorp have given room for thoughts on a possible battle between the businessmen.
Otedola sold his stake
Following Elumelu’s additional acquisition on the company’s share, Otedola sold all his shares in Transcorp to the Nigerian economist. Elumelu who stretched an open arms towards the oil magnate was able buy his shares after mutual friends of both businessmen facilitated the process.
Otedola, not revealing any details, describes the sale as the inability of two captains sailing a ship. This further buttresses a possible battle between the duo which would be clearly behind the scene.
Otedola’s recent response to situations related to the acquisition at Transcorp and Elumelu sudden fightback is another sign of battles between them.
Otedola recently accused Elumelu of using his shares in the United Bank of Africa (UBA) to service the interest on his loans. This was after Otedola went bankrupt in 2008 losing over $480 million to the plunge in oil prices, $258 million through the devaluation of the naira, $160 million when the stocks crashed, and a $320 million due to accruing interest.
Additionally, Otedola accused Elumelu of secretly buying shares in Transcorp Hotel, a move he had initially told him of and declared his interest in. Also, Elumelu went behind him to acquire Ughelli Power Plant after his disclosed interest in the plant. He said, “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 outbid me by offering to buy the plant for $ 300 million.”
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