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Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) Thursday announced the acquisition of 5.5 per cent interest in the company by Nigeria’s businessman Femi Otedola.
“The Company welcomes this expression of confidence in its leadership and management as we continue our unwavering commitment to superior stakeholders’ returns, anchored in our ideology of Africapitalism,” Transcorp said in a regulatory filing.
Mr Otedola, who now holds 2.2 billion shares, comes next to UBA Nominees Limited in the ownership pecking order of the conglomerate, whose businesses encompass energy, oil and gas, and hospitality.
The action clears the air around speculations that emerged last week about a substantial share purchase by the energy magnate, the high point being a single-day trading of 1.6 billion shares last Tuesday.
Transcorp’s shares gained 78.8 per cent in the nine days between then and Thursday.
Mr Otedola is the majority owner of Ajaokuta-based Geregu Power, formerly a government-owned facility, with an installed capacity of 435MW.
Afam Power, Transcorp’s most recent plant acquisition, is more than two times bigger than that size at 966MW installed capacity.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Otedola said the board of the company brought forward the deadline of a previously announced close period to suit insiders’ interest.
Close periods, the interval between when a publicly quoted company completes its financial report and when it is issued to the public, forbid insiders like directors and its major shareholders from trading on the company’s shares.
“On April 18th, the company hastily announced that a board meeting initially scheduled to be held on May 4th, 2023, had taken place on April 17th, 2023.
“They then immediately approved the first quarter 2023 results and released them to the public,” Mr Otedola said in a statement seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
He argued that Transcorp had declared a closed period from 1 April, which meant that no member of the board or management could purchase shares of the company.
“However, by publishing the results on April 18th, the closed period ended 24 hours later, allowing insiders in Transcorp to purchase shares of the company,” he added.
Mr Otedola, who is the biggest shareholder of FBN Holdings, the parent company of Nigeria’s oldest lender FirstBank, said the close period would have ended in May, the originally scheduled deadline, if the original arrangement had not been altered.
He added that the decision has opened the window for insiders to acquire more of the company’s shares.
Following an unusually heavy buy pressure on the stock, the company traded 2.8 billion units in the last nine days and its shares have gained about 70 per cent within one week.
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