The President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, has said that his friend and billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, is welcome to attempt a corporate takeover of Dangote Cement.

Dangote said this on Friday at the Dangote Cement customers appreciation event in Lagos.

While introducing some dignitaries at the event, he mentioned Otedola, saying, “We must also welcome our newest shareholder, Femi Otedola.

“There are people who fear that he is going to do the same thing he did at Transcorp; but I say he’s welcome.”

On Monday, Otedola, in a statement confirmed his “significant acquisition of shares in Dangote Cement,” saying that the “strategic investment underscores his confidence in Dangote Cement’s potential to generate foreign exchange for the country and his dedication to supporting businesses that contribute to Nigeria’s economic resilience.

“Dangote Cement’s unique position with two export terminals offers a substantial opportunity to earn foreign exchange, crucial for Nigeria’s economy. This, along with the company’s pan-African presence, makes it an ideal investment choice,” said Otedola.

In April 2023, Otedola acquired a 5.52 per cent stake in Transcorp Plc, making him the second largest shareholder of the company. He was next to United Bank for Africa nominees, which owned about 9.25 per cent of the company as of December 2022.

Confirming the deal in a tweet, Otedola said, “Following this acquisition, I look forward to working with the board and management of Transcorp to realise the amazing future potential of the corporation.”

At first, it had looked like a welcome development, as both the Chairman of Transcorp, Tony Elumelu, and the firm issued public statements saying the interests in the company showed its value proposition. However, the positive tone to the acquisition soon changed as Otedola sold the shares he bought.

In a statement, he said that his offer to buy Transcorp for N250bn was rejected. Otedola revealed that he bought the shares of the organisation because he believed in the potential of the Group to hit N2tn in valuation.

“As a businessman, I believe in healthy competition and market dynamics. Two captains cannot man a ship, and I respect the majority shareholder’s decision to buy me out. This is the nature of the game,” he said.

During the week, Dangote Cement became the first listed company to cross N10tn in market capitalisation. It closed trading Friday at N11. 827tn with a unit of its securities priced N694.1 each.

Aliko Dangote controls about 85 per cent of Dangote Cement.

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