While initial reports in the past week suggested that Teleology Holdings won the 9mobile bid, there are allegations that there might have been irregularities in the bid process. Two of the companies that participated in the bidding round, Bharti Airtel and Helios have allegedly petitioned the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the ‘inconsistencies’.
Their stance? Some of the petitioners in the bid process did not have access to the company’s financials. Therefore, they couldn’t make the best possible decision for them. However, insiders have refuted the alleged irregularities.
What really went down
According to insiders who were privy to the bid process, all relevant documents were kept in a Virtual Data Room. A law firm wrote a legal assessment. Ernest and Young prepared a financial and tax report, while Analysys Mason drew up a commercial and technical report.
Barclays Africa also hosted conference calls with the technical advisers and 9Mobile’s creditors- IHS, Nokia and Huwaei.
Teleology was the only company that availed itself of all opportunities to conduct due process.
Private equity firm, Helios and Globacom did not log into the Virtual Data Room, or participate in any of the conferences. Bharti Airtel was absent from most of the conference calls as well.
Implications of the uncertainty
The longer the delay in concluding the bid process, the lower the value of the company. In the coming months, subscribers could decide to port to other operators and this will cause a huge plunge in their business. Furthermore, the lack of clarity about the company’s future may result in inertia when it comes to taking major business decisions.