My initial thoughts are very clear. I could be wrong, but let me attempt a little explanation of what I think is going on between these two.
Tony’s Heirs holdings at a little over 12% have controlling shares of the conglomerate. Tony serves as Chairman, and with the wonderful Transcorp Hilton hotel and its captive Government business contributing about N50b- latest figures, Tony was sitting pretty.
Then, his power plant also dropped another N400b to the kitty, Tony more than deserved the IG lifestyle complete with junkets around exotic places globally.
But dark clouds were looming. The share price was funny. It was selling at a little above N1.40 even as late as two weeks ago, and with a shareholder base of about 300,000, it was just a virgin girl thrown into a bar filled with drunken sailors.
How Tony didn’t see this coming beats my imagination. He is too experienced and savvy not to have seen Transcorp as a beautiful conquest for any corporate raider.
The pricing was right, the returns beautiful, shareholders base which could give control ready and willing and then its operations in strategic sectors made it sweeter than a well made plate of Afang.
Guess he was distracted with his global conquest of being the next Idris Elba in Nigerian board rooms that he left his flank open.
Now Femi, who has said he doesn’t have to work for money again, leaving his Italian ice cream for a second looks at the power sector in Nigeria and decides to consolidate.
Already listed his Geregu and coming out of that with about N200b free money and if you add this to the over N75b he had made from the FBN deal, you are beginning to look at the most liquid Nigerian today.
It is safe to say that Femi is more liquid than the Federal Government, and such a man lurking around the market is dangerous.
Femi has no point to prove again. He really has no risks. A man who lost all of his wealth and rebuilt it in the same lifetime to these propotions shd be respected and feared.
He looked closely at the power sector. It’s upcoming unbundling with the immense possibility and looked at the N100b, tony’s power team was raking in and the N400b his own much smaller capacity plant was raking in and saw an under utilization there.
With all of that cash and looking to consolidate his power holdings, Transcorp was just a sitting duck.
He made his move two weeks ago. Took 6% and the price moved by close to 100%. From N1.40 to close at N3.10 within the same period.
At that point, Tony was showing Atiku type miscalculation. Remember how Atiku allowed 5 Governors to go, annoyed Wike, and now went to fight the formidable Tinubu at half strength.
This is what Tony was doing. While busy on the IG posting all sorts of wobbles, Femis boys were working.
He already has FBN, Geregu, the largest listing of a power company on the exchange and N200b war chest, Tony now has a fight in his hands.
Femi made the move again for Tony’s hands in marriage. He moved his position to about 12%, and Tony has just realized that he has an ambitious sailor wanting to marry him.
He immediately moved. Raising his stake to 31% and spending over N20b to do this.
But he still has those shares floating around, and with the way the pressure is going pushing up pricing, other shareholders will be looking at cashing in.
I do not think Tony has the liquidity to sustain this push as I do not know his exposure to UBA or even that UBA has the strength to back this fight.
From my perspective, it’s looking like it’s Femis fight to lose.
He can only do one of two things – push up the price and cahs out running away with another round of billions, or he Digs in like he did at First Bamk and makes Tony his third wife.
Now, if he marries Tony, it won’t be like the First Bank marriage cos someone’s ego will really be bruised here.
Tony personifies Transcorp he has built a global reputation in what he has been able to achieve with Transcorp pulling out an enviable philanthropic platform that is globally respected.
This would be a bad fight if it truly turns out to be a fight, but then cash is the main thing here, and does Tony have that kind of cash reserves to stop this marriage?
I doubt. Don’t forget that Transcorp also has an oil block and although that has not started production, it is still a major attraction.
I think Tony should either sell the oil block to raise cash to ward off Femi or leverage it for the same.
Either way, I think the only other option is for him to pray really hard that Femi will get bored and move towards buying Nigerian Railway and my people, that wil just be wishing that we won the world cup with Davido manning our goal post.
These are just my initial thoughts. We are still watching as this unfolds
Duke of Shomolu