A source close to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has disclosed that the commission alongside the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has on Wednesday, August 29, concluded the sale of 9mobile to Teleology Holdings Limited. The sale of the third largest telecoms to Teleology was valued at $500 million.
This development may have put to rest the long media war and acquisition tussle of 9mobile by top bidders.
Recall that earlier reports suggested that the final transaction for the takeover of 9mobile failed following the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and other stakeholders to reach a meaningful conclusion on the matter.
Last February, Teleology Holdings had emerged as the winner of a fiercely contested bidding exercise for 9mobile’s acquisition. The bidding exercise was supervised by Barclays Africa.
But ever since Teleology’s emergence as the winner, drama, and controversies have characterised its 9mobile acquisition bid. These controversies range from opposition posed by other bidders such as runner-up, Smile Telecoms Holding Limited, to the alleged refusal of banks to lend Teleology the rest of the capital it needs to finalise the acquisition bid.
Despite these issues, Teleology Holdings was optimistic that the acquisition process would go on until finalised.
The background to the entire story
The problem with Etisalat Nigeria, now 9mobile, started last year 2017 after the telco defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it obtained from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks led by GTBank. This caused the parent company (Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates) to pull out and relinquish its 45% stake in the company.
Following this development, the CBN restrained the Nigerian banks from taking over the telco. The CBN instead, constituted an interim board to oversee the operations of the company.
9mobile currently commands an estimated market share of 11.72% in the country.