Barclays Africa, the financial adviser handling the sale of 9Mobile (the fourth largest GSM provider in Nigeria), has on Wednesday concluded the actual sale of 9Mobile. The financial adviser transmitted an official letter to Teleology Holdings Limited, confirming it as the preferred bidder in the sale of 9Mobile.
The letter has also instructed Teleology Holdings to make a non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within 21 days from the date of the letter, dated February 21, 2018, or lose the bid to the reserve bidder, Smile Holdings Limited.
9Mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria, was put up for sale when the Etisalat Group withdrew its 45 per cent stake at the company following the inability to resolve a loan of about $1.2bn with 13 Nigerian banks. The consortium of banks were prevented from taking over through the intervention of the NCC and CBN. The NCC and CBN had also in 2017, appointed an interim Board and Management to run the affairs of 9Mobile, pending the conclusion of acquisition by a new owner.
Five companies had scaled through the final phase and they were Airtel, Globacom, Helios, Smile and Teleology holdings Limited. They were selected from about 16 companies that tendered expressions of interest (EoIs) to Barclays Africa. The other firms were MTN, Ntel, Virgin Mobile (United Kingdom), Vodacom of South Africa, BUA Group, Morning Side Capital Partners, Obot Etiebet & Co, Blackstone Private Equity, and Hamilton and George International Limited.
Teleology, a private equity firm with an investment portfolio of 11bn$, offered more than $500 million to acquire the mobile network while Smile Communication offered about $300 million. Teleology is said to have been impressed with the company’s cash flow, a factor which convinced them that paying off the debt to the consortium of banks was possible.
The company, which has set out to acquire and develop under-performing telecoms and electronic media operations in emerging markets, has deep expertise in recovery and transformation of licensed fixed and mobile operators, Information Technology (IT) firms, as well as design, consulting, application and content service providers. It operational team consists of the Teleology Group CEO is Sven-Axel Brudnicki, with over 20 years’ experience as telecom executive, and also the second CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Adrian Wood, as well as other experts in the field.
It was also given access to 9Mobile’s records and financial books as well as the opportunity to seek further clarifications concerning 9Mobile from the management of 9Nobile, within a 30-day window, which started counting from January 26, when the first letter on the third phase of the auction process was transmitted to Teleology Holdings.
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