Herbert Wigwe strengthens position as largest shareholder as he acquires additional shares in Access Holdings

Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and co-founder of Access Holdings, has significantly increased his stake in the bank by investing an estimated N14.5 billion in additional shares since April 2023. This recent acquisition signifies his efforts to solidify his position as the largest shareholder, thereby consolidating effective control.

Starting in April, Wigwe began acquiring more shares of the bank, purchasing approximately 1.13 billion units. His holdings are spread across various entities that directly hold shares in Access Holdings.

Just last week, Wigwe’s Tengen Holdings (Mauritius) Limited, a company associated with him, acquired an additional 50 million shares worth N762.5 million in the company.

According to a notice signed by Sunday Ekwochi, the Company Secretary, Tengen Holdings purchased 50,000,000 units of Access Holdings Plc on June 26th, 2023, at a rate of N15.25 per share, with a total value of N762.5 million.

This acquisition of 50 million shares represents 0.14 percent of the company’s total outstanding shares. As a result, Tengen Holdings now holds a total of 1.8 billion shares, and when combined with Wigwe’s direct and indirect stake, his total holdings amount to 3.1 billion shares.

Since December, Tengen Holdings has been steadily increasing its shareholdings, more than doubling from approximately 432,577,819 units of shares as of December 31, 2022, to an estimated 1,819,750,593 units between April and June 2023. The total value of shares acquired since April 2023 is estimated to be around N14.25 billion.

In addition to his direct holdings, Wigwe also holds indirect interests in United Alliance Company of Nig Ltd and Trust and Capital Limited, with shareholdings of 537,734,219 and 584,056,979 respectively.

Consequently, Wigwe’s indirect holdings now amount to 2,941,541,791 units of shares, compared to 1,554,369,017 as of December 31, 2022. His direct holdings remain unchanged at 201,231,713 units of shares.

Recent unaudited financial results for the first quarter released by Access Holdings on the NGX Exchange show significant growth. Interest income increased by 46.4 percent to N254.22 billion in the first quarter of 2023, while profits before tax rose by 28.4 percent to N81.594 billion. The bank’s gross earnings also experienced an upswing, reaching N424.917 billion, compared to N295.736 billion recorded in the first quarter of March 2022.

Access Holdings’ profit after tax improved in the first quarter of 2023 to N71.636 billion, compared to N57.825 billion in the same period of 2022. Furthermore, the bank’s total assets increased to N15.742 trillion as of the end of March 2023, up from N14.998 trillion recorded at the end of December 2022.

On the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX), Access Holdings closed at N15.80 per share on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, marking a 3.6 percent gain over its previous closing price of N15.25. Wigwe’s strategic investments and the bank’s robust financial performance are closely watched by industry observers and shareholders alike.

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