Tony Elumelu, the chair of Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp), has acquired fresh 9.7 billion shares in separate deals in recent days, company documents revealed on Thursday.
The businessman turned the tables on the conglomerate’s two previous biggest owners to take the prime spot.
Transcorp’s shares numbering 2.4 billion units exchanged hands in the open market in the period, implying most, if not all of Mr Elumelu’s new shares were acquired off the market.
The move ramps up his combined stake in the group to 10.5 billion shares or 25.9 per cent. A breakdown revealed 273.1 million units were directly held, according to the 2022 financial report, while 273.5 million were held indirectly through Heirs Holdings.
The rest were held through HH Capital.
The businessman’s stake is valued at N32.9 billion, going by Transcorp’s share price at market close on Thursday.
“With this new acquisition, HH Capital Limited now holds a total of 9,991,173,177 units, representing 25.58% of the Company’s total shares,” Transcorp said in a statement.
PREMIUM TIMES’ calculation from data from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the acquisition’s regulatory filing and Transcorp’s 2022 audited financial report showed that, taken separately, the stake held through HH Capital, represents 24.6 per cent of Transcorp’s total issued shares of 40.6 billion units.
The announcement on Thursday signals the latest twist in the scramble for Transcorp, whose flagship energy business is the latest lure for billionaire investor Femi Otedola.
Details of Mr Otedola’s initial 5.5 per cent covert acquisition became public a fortnight ago.
He would later raise his stake to 6.3 per cent, placing him at that point in the second position behind UBA Nominees, which holds 9.3 per cent. UBA Nominees is the custodian business of United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Mr Elumelu’s new acquisition confers on him more than one quarter of Transcorp’s entire voting rights and also means those two will now take the back seat behind him among Transcorp’s top three shareholders.
He chairs Nigeria’s third biggest bank by assets, UBA, where he is the biggest shareholder, wielding a 6.4 per cent stake worth N17.2 billion at market close on Thursday.