Reports over the weekend suggest that 9Mobile has a new owner and it is Teleology Holdings Limited. But industry stakeholders believe the company is unqualified to buy the company; they want a re-appraisal of the bidding process.
— Nairametrics (@Nairametrics) January 28, 2018
Teleology had been one of the 16 companies that participated in the bidding process for 9Mobile guided by Barclays bank. The companies were reduced to two after bids were scrutinized last week. Airtel and Globacom were two bidders who took part in the earlier bidding process and made the list of 5. Both companies were however dropped from the pool due to their failure to back up their technical bids with strong financial bids.
Teleology and Smile Telecom Holdings emerged the only two bidders in the final stage. According to reports, Teleology Holdings emerged the preferred bidder, after making a $500 million bid for 9Mobile. Smile, on the other hand, had made a $300 million bid.
Stakeholders Raise Concern Over 9Mobile’s Sale to Teleology
But industry stakeholders have written Teleology off. They believe bid amounts should not be given the sole consideration. They want other issues such as history in the industry, technological innovations, job opportunities and even tax records to be given considerations too.
In particular, stakeholders are questioning the capability of Teleology Holdings. The Vanguard calls it a consortium of companies with powerful backers as its shareholders, which include politicians, traditional rulers and business executives. It appears the company is not really looked upon as a real venture but is more like a special company set up just for the 9Mobile bidding process.
The bid amounts being reported is also being dismissed by stakeholders. Vanguard reports that the bids been reported is incorrect and is being inflated for the benefit of “one of the finalists.”
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is yet to make an official announcement about the sale. And it does it appear that the sale may not be completed until another 30 days. During this period, both Teleology Holdings and Smile would need to provide proofs that they have the financial resources to take over the telecom company.
Spectrum Court Case Still Lurking
A few weeks ago, we reported that 9Mobile was being sued by one of its shareholders. SpectrumCommunicationsn had alleged that it was not being sidelined from the sale of 9Mobile, and received a court the grant it a court order to halt the sale. By virtue of this, no further process should be ongoing until the court case is over.
An appeal case has however been launched. And according to Thisday sources, once a case has been appealed, all parties must maintain the status quo. This meant that “the sale of 9Mobile will continue until the Appeal Court passes judgement.”
This is obviously a gamble. And the double of dilemma of stakeholder worry and the existing court case, in addition to NCC’s mum so far, only continues to increase concerns about the flow of the 9Mobile sale.
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