I admire Otedola, call him Ote-dollar, Tony Elumelu douses tension on 6.3% share acquisition in Transcorp
Billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, has been making headlines due to his recent acquisition of 6.3% shares in Transnational Corporation Plc, Transcorp, making him the second largest shareholder of the company. The development has roused the Nigerian financial market as well as caused controversy regarding the relationship between Otedola and his friend, Tony Elumelu as they struggle to control the ownership interest in Transcorp.
While people nursed the fears that Otedola’s acquisition of 6.3% shares in Transcorp could result in a take over of the company owing to his antecedents, the group chairman of Tanscorp, Tony Elumelu expressed joy that his friend is investing in the company. Elumelu who said during an Arise interview on Thursday that he is excited about working with Otedola at Transcorp, described him as his very good friend.
According to Elumelu, “There are only two people I follow on Instagram; my wife and Femi Otedola; that shows you the level of friendship that we have and he’s a man I admire and respect as a friend. We call ourselves brothers. I welcome Femi’s (I call him FO, or Ote-dollar), investment in Transcorp; that is what we want”, he said, adding, “People get sentimental and emotional at times for no reason.” Even when both men are into power business, Elumelu said “there’s nothing wrong with that as there can be crossholding. “Abroad or even in Nigeria, we go on international road shows, what do we do?
We talk to investors to come and invest in our companies. I’m happy to see an indigenous active investor community. “I’m happy that Femi is investing locally and should be commended for that and I also welcome his investment in Transcorp because the more people show interest in the activities, in the performance of the company, the more people invest in the company, the better for us shareholders. “You want to make your stock investors’ toast and I’m happy that Transcorp has become investors’ toast.” He further stated that about ten years ago, before they took over Transcorp, people were not interested, disclosing that “even those who owned shares of Transcorp, could not find their certificates because they lost confidence in the company.
Today, under our leadership, Transcorp has consistently in five years, paid dividend every year. There is capital appreciation for the company. So when friends and investing public come to invest in company like this, it’s a validation; it tells you that they believe in your story, vision, management, leadership and competence. That’s what has been demonstrated and I like my friend to come on board, I like the fact he’s on board and I look forward to working towards taking Transcorp to greater heights. “Power sector is a gold mine and I’m happy that my friend who has invested in Transcorp also is in the power sector.”
While reviewing the story about the two friends on Arise TV’s What’s Trending With Ojy Okpe, Okpe said “I really liked that comment by Tony Elumelu because a lot of people had been commenting on social media basically regarding their relationship.” Continuing, Okpe described Femi Otedola as a person who, when he touches something, it becomes gold. “There is more interest in Transcorp because of his investment.
“He’s been known for his hostile (that’s how some describe him) take over in the corporate world and I think that because Otedola had done that deal with First Bank, and the way he took over First Bank, a lot of people thought he wants to go into Transcorp to take over,” she said. Dr Reuben Abati cut in and said that “with Otedola’s investment, the share value of transcorp has gone up and there are more possibilities hence, Mr Tony Elumelu said all the right things.”
Dr Abati would rather regard Otedola as an activist investor than a hostile investor as Okpe earlier described him, as he noted that “He did it with First Bank Plc.where Hebe amen the largest single individual shareholder, moved to Geregu the power plant where he has 90% of the shares and now, to Transcorp where he is largest single individual shareholder.”