It was gathered that Teleology Holdings promoted by Adrian Wood, former CEO of MTN Nigeria may have emerged as the successful winner of the keenly contested bidding exercise for 9mobile.

According to reports, Barclays Africa, which supervised the sale of 9mobile, has sent a letter to the successful bidder. However, this is subject to ratification by the regulatory agencies-Nigeria Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The journey so far

9mobile (formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria) defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it had obtained from a consortium of 13 banks led by GT Bank. This led to the parent company Etisalat of the UAE pulling out and relinquishing its 45%stake in the telco.

The banks threatened to take over the firm but were prevented from doing so by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

An interim board chaired by a Deputy Governor of the CBN was subsequently appointed.The interim board then announced a bid process midwived by Barclays Africa.

Five firms – Globacom, Smile, Airtel, Helios and Teleology Holdings, made it to the final bidding stage, however, Airtel, allegedly withdrew from the bid process due to what it termed irregularities.

Way Forward

Teleology Holdings has been directed to make a non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within 21 days from the date of the letter or forfeit its position as the preferred bidder.

In the event of the preferred bidder not paying, the reserved bidder will take its place. It is expected that once NCC and CBN ratify this sale, the preferred bidder can then take over the technical operations of the embattled telco. 9mobile currently commands a market share of 11.72% in the country.

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