The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has confirmed that it is conducting an investigation into the acquisition of 4.77 billion shares of FBN Holdings by Oba Otudeko, the chairman of Honeywell Group. A top official of the commission, who requested anonymity, stated that the SEC has initiated a careful investigation into the share acquisition process by Honeywell Group. The SEC has not yet reached a conclusion on the matter.
This development follows an ongoing dispute between Honeywell Group and Ecobank over a debt of N13.5 billion. Recently, through its affiliate Barbican Capital Limited, Honeywell Group acquired a significant stake of 4,770,269,843 units of FBN Holdings’ shares, making it the majority shareholder with a 13.3 percent stake in the bank.
However, shortly after the acquisition, Ecobank sent a letter to FBN Holdings, urging the bank to reject Honeywell’s bid to become the largest shareholder. Ecobank claims that Honeywell owes them N13.5 billion, a claim that Honeywell Group has refuted. The SEC’s investigation into the share acquisition is ongoing, and further details will likely emerge as the investigation progresses.