Following its acquisition by Teleology Holdings, 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, has repaid part of a loan taken from a group of banks.
According to Bloomberg, 9mobile repaid $251 million last week from the proceeds of the fund Teleology paid for the acquisition
Abiola Rasaq, head of investor relations, United Bank for Africa Plc, one of the institutions that received a payment, noted that the reimbursement is expected to improve the asset quality of the creditor banks that had classified the loan as non-performing. The bank made a N15.2 billion ($41 million) provision on the loan last year. Several banks had taken provisions on the loan.
Adrian, a key frontman for Teleology, had disclosed in March, the company would begin repayment of 9Mobile’s loan in tranches once it took over the telco.
9Mobile (then known as Etisalat Nigeria) defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it had obtained from a consortium of banks led by GT Bank. The default led to parent company Etisalat of the UAE pulling out and the banks threatening to take over the firm.
They were however prevented from doing so by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). An interim board was subsequently appointed, and Barclays Africa midwifed a bidding process. Some parties to the process had alleged there were irregularities, a fact that was stoutly denied.
Teleology emerged the preferred bidder and took over the firm this month.
The new owner has also approved the constitution of a new board of Directors for the telco. The new board of Directors is to be chaired by Nasiru Ado Bayero while Stephane Beuvelet, former Chief Technical Officer of MTN, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) was named as the Acting Managing Director.