Top 10+ Holding Companies in Nigeria (Updated 2024)

Top Holding Companies in Nigeria
Top Holding Companies in Nigeria

In Africa’s growing economy, Nigeria is really making strides and showing a lot of grit. A big part of this success story comes from holding companies. These are big businesses that own parts of other companies, helping them grow bigger and manage risks better.

So, what’s the deal with these holding companies in Nigeria? How have they changed and grown in Nigeria’s business world, especially with all the recent changes?

We’re going to take a close look at these holding companies, explaining how they’re set up, what they do, and how they help Nigeria’s economy. Plus, we’ll talk about what might be in store for them down the road.

This is super important for people who invest money, run businesses, or are just interested in how big companies work. We’re going to explore how these big players help keep Nigeria’s economy strong and what hurdles they might face.

Join us as we take an in-depth look into this crucial element shaping Nigeria’s financial and economic outlook on the global scene.

Quick Summary

  • A holding company is a business entity specifically created to own the controlling shares in other companies.
  • Holding companies in Nigeria are well-respected for their ability to manage and oversee multiple subsidiary companies, playing a significant role in the economic development of the country.

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What Defines a Holding Company?

A holding company is a business entity specifically created to own the controlling shares in other companies. They may also hold significant shares, assets, or controlling stakes in various other businesses, known as subsidiaries. 

The defining characteristic of a holding company is that it doesn’t produce goods or services on its own, rather it exists primarily for controlling and directing the activities of its subsidiaries.

By purchasing majority voting shares of other businesses, holding companies wield the power to influence the management and operations of those entities. Their strategic purpose may range from achieving cost efficiencies, facilitating cross-selling, diversifying risks, or simply obtaining a greater market share. 

It’s important to note that the assets and liabilities of a holding company and its subsidiaries are separate and they are run as separate legal entities, providing a certain level of risk protection for the holding company. 

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Top 10+ Holding Companies in Nigeria

In Nigeria, holding companies are well-respected for their ability to manage and oversee multiple subsidiary companies, playing a significant role in the economic development of the country.

Here, TransferXO will highlight some of the top holding companies operating in Nigeria today.

1. Transcorp

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Transcorp is a leading Nigerian conglomerate with key interests in the hospitality, agribusiness, and energy sectors. 

Transcorp was incorporated in November 2004 by a group of high-profile Nigerian business and political leaders to drive and capitalize on the economic reforms instituted by the Nigerian Government. Its mission is to create sustainable value for its stakeholders by being Nigeria’s most diversified conglomerate. 

Transcorp’s notable achievements include its rapid growth in assets, earning global recognition from Forbes in 2007. Major subsidiaries include Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Transcorp Power Limited, and Transcorp Energy Limited.

2. FBN Holdings Plc

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FBN Holdings Plc is a diversified and broad-based financial institution founded in 1894. Its inception is tied to the colonial era when it provided banking services in Nigeria under the auspices of the British government. 

Today, the company’s mission is to build a sustainable culture that enables it to deliver the ultimate gold standard of value to all its stakeholders. 

It is credited with several achievements, notably being the first sub-Saharan bank to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Key subsidiaries include First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBNQuest Capital, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, and FBNQuest Trustees.

3. Dangote Group

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Dangote Group, established in 1981 by Aliko Dangote, is one of the largest private-sector conglomerates in Africa, with a key focus on industries such as cement, sugar, salt, and textiles. 

The company’s mission is to create a sustainable business through superior customer service, innovation, quality, and commitment. Amongst its most notable achievements is becoming Africa’s largest cement producer. 

Some of the major subsidiaries include Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, Nascon Allied Industries, and Dangote Flour. The group has substantially contributed to Nigeria’s economy and infrastructural development with the creation of thousands of employment opportunities.

4. Mike Adenuga Group

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The Mike Adenuga Group, established by billionaire Mike Adenuga, has vast interests in the fields of telecom, oil exploration, and real estate. Globacom, the telecommunications subsidiary of the group, launched operations in Nigeria in 2003 and has now spread to Ghana and the Republic of Benin. 

Its mission is to be the leading telecommunication company providing world-class services to its customers while contributing to the economic growth of Nigeria. One notable achievement is that Globacom became the first telecom company to introduce per-second billing in Nigeria. 

The Mike Adenuga Group also owns Conoil Producing, Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil exploration company. This diverse conglomerate continues to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to Nigeria’s development.

5. Stanbic IBTC Holdings


Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, is a Nigerian-based banking and financial services company that started in 1989 as Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited. 

It became Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC after merging with Stanbic Bank Nigeria Limited in 2007. The mission of Stanbic IBTC is to drive Nigeria’s growth by serving as a key partner in navigating financial needs. 

Its significant achievements include numerous awards in various fields, including Best Investment Bank and Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria. Its key subsidiaries include Stanbic IBTC Bank, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, and Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers.

6. UBA Group

UBA Group, is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, with operations in 20 African countries and offices in three global financial centers: London, Paris, and New York. 

Originally established in 1949, UBA has a long history of facilitating economic and financial developments across the African continent. Its mission is to be a role model for African businesses by creating superior value for all stakeholders. 

UBA has achieved numerous awards and recognitions including ‘Bank of the Year’ and ‘Best Bank in Corporate Governance.’ Notable subsidiaries include UBA Ghana, UBA Kenya, UBA Senegal, and UBA New York, demonstrating its Pan-African footprint.

7. Honeywell Group

Honeywell Group was founded by Dr. Ayoola Oba Otudeko in 1972, becoming one of Nigeria’s leading conglomerates with a presence across major sectors. Their mission is to harness resources towards creating value while uplifting societal standards through impactful investments. 

A significant achievement for the company is its establishment of the Honeywell Group Corporate Development Company (HCDC), a notable firm that encourages entrepreneurial efforts in Nigeria. 

Among Honeywell Group’s key subsidiaries are Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, a key player in Nigeria’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, and Pivot Engineering Company Limited (PECL), one of the leading electrical engineering companies in Nigeria.

8. Chellarams Plc

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Established in 1923, Chellarams Plc started its business activities in Nigeria, later evolving into a widely diversified conglomerate. With a mission to enhance people’s lives by providing quality products and services, Chellarams is known for its widespread distribution and robust manufacturing capacities. 

A notable achievement is their ongoing joint venture with global companies, like DuPont, in areas such as industrial chemicals and consumer healthcare products. 

Major subsidiaries of Chellarams Plc include Chellarams Dairy Products Limited, Chellarams Industrial Products Ltd., United Technical & Allied Services Ltd., and DMK Stallion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., offering an array of services, from pharmaceuticals to automotive spare parts, solidifying its diverse portfolio.

9. Jaiz Bank Plc

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Established in 2003, Jaiz Bank Plc is the pioneer Islamic banking establishment in Nigeria and West Africa. Guided by the mission to create a medium for equitable wealth distribution through non-interest banking, it focuses on enhancing the economic well-being of individuals and corporations. 

The bank gained its regional banking license in 2011, began full operation in 2012, and upgraded to a national license in 2016. Jaiz Bank’s notable achievements include a pioneering position in the Islamic banking industry and continual growth in operations. 

The major subsidiaries of Jaiz Bank are Jaiz Takaful Insurance and Jaiz International, offering non-interest insurance and offshore banking services, respectively.

10. Heirs Holdings

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Founded by Tony O. Elumelu in 2010, Heirs Holdings is a family-owned investment company with a strategic interest in multiple sectors, including financial services, power, oil and gas, and healthcare. 

The company’s mission revolves around transforming Africa by investing in critical sectors and driving economic prosperity and social wealth. The firm made headlines in 2021 when it acquired a 45% stake in Oil Mining Lease, OML 17, from Shell, ENI, and Total for $1.1 billion. 

Major subsidiaries of Heirs Holdings include United Bank for Africa, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Avon Healthcare, and Heirs Insurance. These establishments highlight the firm’s diverse interests and commitment to uplifting African economies.

11. Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc

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Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) is a prestigious holding company in Nigeria, established in 1960. As one of the largest agro-allied companies in Nigeria, its mission is to ‘feed the nation every day’ by providing superior quality food and bakery products. 

Over the years, it has received numerous awards for innovation and productivity, which demonstrates its drive towards exceptional service. The FMN’s family of businesses includes operations in flour milling, pasta manufacturing, and bag production among others. 

Major subsidiaries include Northern Nigeria Flour Mills, Golden Pasta Company, and Bagco Nigeria, all playing significant roles in bolstering Nigeria’s economy and feeding its populace.

12. BUA Group

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Founded by Nigerian industrialist Abdulsamad Rabiu in 1988, BUA Group is one of Africa’s largest conglomerates with diversified interests in food, mining, manufacturing, and infrastructure. 

BUA’s mission is to create and provide premium products and services while adding immense value to all stakeholders. One of its significant achievements includes ranking among Forbes Africa’s top 40 richest people due to its rapid growth and innovative expansion strategies. 

Key subsidiaries of the group include BUA Cement, BUA Sugar Refinery, BUA Oil Mills, and BUA Ports and Terminals, significantly contributing to Nigeria’s industrial sector. BUA group’s multi-faceted approach ensures continuous impact on Nigeria’s economic development.

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How Do Holding Companies Contribute to the Nigerian Economy?

Holding companies are corporations that possess a controlling interest in several other companies. These companies make their wealth primarily from the profits earned by their subsidiaries. In Nigeria, like in other economies globally, holding companies play significant roles in promoting economic development.

1. Increase in Capital Inflows

Holding companies contribute significantly to capital inflows in the economy by raising funds domestically and from foreign investors, thereby boosting the financial markets. This in turn aids the Nigerian government in implementing infrastructure and social welfare projects.

2. Boost to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

The presence of holding companies stimulates Foreign Direct Investment. For instance, foreign entities could establish holding companies in Nigeria and, as a result, inject their capital into the local economy.

3. Job Creation

Holding companies often control many different firms, and hence, they directly and indirectly create job opportunities in the country. Increased employment leads to a higher standard of living and a robust economy.

4. Infrastructural Development

Holding companies usually have the financial capability to fund big projects such as constructing roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals, which directly or indirectly benefit the Nigerian economy. These infrastructural developments serve as the basis for economic growth and prosperity.

5. Strengthening of the Financial Sector

As mentioned earlier, holding companies increase capital inflow, which strengthens the financial sector of the Nigerian economy. They contribute to increased liquidity in the banking sector, which translates to more loans being issued to individuals and businesses, consequently stimulating economic activities.

6. Diversification

Since holding companies control multiple businesses in various sectors, they promote diversification of the Nigerian economy, making it resilient against market shocks.

7. Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

With the backing of holding companies, new businesses find it easier to establish and flourish, leading to more innovations. Additionally, holding companies themselves are often at the forefront of corporate innovation and change.

8. Technological Transfer

Holding companies, particularly those with foreign investments, often bring advanced technology and management practices to the Nigerian economy.

In summary, holding companies contribute in several ways to the Nigerian economy. They, therefore, form a significant part of Nigeria’s path to sustainable economic growth and development.

Tax Implications for Holding Companies in Nigeria

The decision to establish a holding company in Nigeria should not be solely based on operational factors, but also on a keen understanding of the tax implications involved. Holding companies play a critical role in business structuring and expansion strategies, offering advantages such as management efficiency and reduced risk. 

Nevertheless, it’s imperative to note that tax regulations often come with complex compliance requirements, so companies need to stay ahead to avoid costly penalties and reputational damage.

In Nigeria, the tax structure is built on three levels; federal, state, and local government. Each of these government levels has the right to impose, charge, and collect taxes. Understanding the various tax laws at each level is paramount to successfully navigating Nigeria’s tax environment.

Below, we highlight the major tax implications for holding companies in Nigeria:

  1. Corporate Income Tax (CIT): Holding companies in Nigeria are subject to a CIT rate of 30%, calculated based on the company’s net profits. The CIT law states that a Nigerian company engaged in any trade or business will pay CIT on their profits, including holding companies.
  1. Value Added Tax (VAT): Holding companies are expected to pay VAT at 7.5% on all taxable goods and services. It is pertinent to note that Nigeria’s finance law has redefined the scope of goods and services liable for VAT.
  1. Withholding Tax (WHT): Holding companies may have tax deducted at source, particularly on investment income (e.g., dividends, interest, and royalties), which usually involves WHT. It serves as an advance payment of a company’s tax liability, and it’s applicable at a rate of 10% in Nigeria.
  1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT): If a holding company sells a subsidiary or asset, it might be liable for CGT on the gains. This is usually calculated at 10% in Nigeria.
  1. Stamp Duty: The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Nigeria also imposes a stamp duty tax on documents such as Agreements, Contracts, Receipts, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Insurance policies, etc.

Companies must understand that while a holding structure may deliver several strategic advantages, these must be balanced against the cost and compliance demands of additional tax burdens. Thus, proper tax planning and compliance with statutory provisions should be considered while forming a holding company.

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What’s the Regulatory Environment of the Holding Companies in Nigeria Like?

In Nigeria, the regulatory environment for holding companies is overseen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They ensure companies comply with all relevant laws and regulations to ensure fair and transparent business practices. 

Holding companies are regulated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and are required to maintain certain levels of capital and comply with various governance and risk management requirements. In addition, the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) also influences holding companies linked to the financial sector. 

The stringent regulatory environment is designed to safeguard investors, prevent financial crises, and uphold corporate governance. However, complexities can sometimes create difficulties for holding companies to efficiently navigate the regulatory landscape.

Challenges and Opportunities of Holding Companies in Nigeria 

Holding companies have grown in popularity and prominence within the Nigerian business sphere in recent years. These firms, often structured as parent companies to several other subsidiaries, serve as the backbone for numerous local and international companies. 

However, just like every other business structure, holding companies in Nigeria face several challenges while also having many opportunities. 


  1. Regulatory Compliance: As businesses that control other businesses, holding companies must comply with a range of complex regulatory standards. In Nigeria, the rules and regulations set forth by bodies such as the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission and Corporate Affairs Commission can sometimes be a major challenge.
  1. Managing Subsidiaries: For holding companies, maintaining control and effectively managing subsidiaries is often a tough call. Balancing autonomy with accountability for each business unit requires a level of dexterity that can be challenging to achieve.
  1. Market Risk: Fluctuating market conditions such as the changing exchange rate, inflation, and instability in the economy affect all businesses. For holding companies, these changes can impact all subsidiaries, making risk management a key concern.
  1. Limited Availability of Investment Capital: In many cases, access to investment capital to expand business operations or enter new markets is a major challenge for holding companies. With most financial institutions having a limited appetite for providing substantial loans or funding, many holding companies are often left cash-strapped.


  1. Diversification: The fundamental advantage of holding companies is the opportunity for business diversification. This reduces risk and provides a balance. If one business encounters challenges, other profitable subsidiaries can make up for the loss.
  1. Market Expansion: Holding companies have a unique opportunity to penetrate new markets. With multiple subsidiaries under their control, they can test out new markets and gradually introduce their full range of services or products.
  1. Shared Resources: Holding companies can pool resources, and expertise across the board, enhancing efficiency and economies of scale. They can centralize administrative functions such as HR, Finance, and Legal, leading to significant cost savings.
  1. Acquisitions: For holding companies, another opportunity is to expand their portfolio through the acquisition of other businesses. This can enhance market presence and diversify revenue streams.

The holding company model has both significant opportunities and challenges in the Nigerian business context. Overcoming the challenges necessitates robust regulatory knowledge, a competent management team, and sophisticated financial management. 

Yet, with the opportunity to expand and diversify, the holding company structure is a business model with strong growth potential in Nigeria.

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Future Trends Expected for Holding Companies in Nigeria

Holding companies in Nigeria are predicted to follow significant future trends due to progressive economic policies, increased digital transformation, and intensified globalization. Anticipation of a wider array of business investments is prevalent due to eased restrictions on foreign investments. 

Technological advancement, specifically in FinTech, AI, and blockchain technology, is also expected to revolutionize the way these companies operate. 

Alongside this, it is predicted that the drive towards sustainability and impact investment will impact company structures. Lastly, the increasing shift to online retail will catalyze the formation of holding companies focusing on e-commerce. 

Overall, as Nigeria progressively merges with global financial flows and digital advances, its holding companies will adapt to embody these new business trends and financial structures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Legal Implications of a Holding Company?

The legal implications of a holding company are diverse and depend on several factors. However, the most significant legal implication is the ability of the holding company to be held liable for the debts of the companies it owns.

How are the Profits Distributed in a Holding Company?

Profits in a holding company are typically distributed based on the percentage of shares that a company owns. The distribution also depends on the profits generated by the companies the holding company controls.

Can a Foreigner Own a Holding Company in Nigeria?

Yes, a foreigner can own a holding company in Nigeria. There are no laws prohibiting foreigners from owning or forming holding companies in Nigeria.


Holding companies in Nigeria provide significant advantages in diversifying risks, streamlining operations, achieving economies of scale, and expanding market reach. 

These corporations offer substantial opportunities for domestic and foreign investments, contributing greatly to Nigeria’s economic growth and stability. It is essential, however, to navigate the intricacies of the Nigerian business landscape successfully and comply with all legal requirements for establishment and operation. 

Indeed, with sound management and a strategic approach, holding companies can leverage the burgeoning Nigerian market, offering lucrative prospects for investors and stakeholders. Future growth will hinge on both the companies’ adaptability and Nigeria’s ability to foster a conducive business environment.

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