The sale of 9Mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest telco, is nearly complete. According to reports by Business Day Newspapers, the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings, has completed the payment of $301 million needed to take over the telco.
— BusinessDay (@BusinessDayNg) July 10, 2018
Following its emergence as the preferred bidder, Teleology was time bound to complete the financial obligation of the bid. In March, it made the first payment of $50 million. However, it still had a 90-day period to complete the rest of its financial payments.
For months, reports had speculated that Teleology had made a $500 million bid for 9Mobile. But in May, it was finally revealed that its actual bid was $301 million. Business Day now reveals that Smile Communication, the reserve bidder in the sale process, made a $150 million bid. This contrasts with the reported figure of $300 million that was widely reported.
Nevertheless, the recent payment follows previous reports that Teleology’s Nigerian Shareholders have been seeking external finance to complete the bid process. The President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola disclosed previously that the company had hired the services of a Swiss bank, UBS to facilitate that process.
“The high risk involved in business operations in Nigeria is making it difficult for Teleology to raise the money but they are actively working to make sure that they pay up the balance and close the deal. They still have on till the end of June to pay up so and they should be applauded for all efforts made because raising $251 million is not easy at all, especially in Nigeria,” Teniola said.
Teleology Holdings Payment Confirmed
Teleology had previously asked for an extension of the deadline early July. Now, with the completion of the $301 million sum, the company will sort regulatory permission for the takeover. And unlike the previous payment of the non-refundable $50m, creditor banks have confirmed receipt of the $301 million payment. “We have seen the money”, said the managing director of a creditor bank.
Interestingly, beyond regulators, Teleology still has to grapple with one last issue: an outstanding case in court. In January, some shareholders at 9Mobile sued the telco for failing to acknowledge them in the sale process. The case is still in court and its outcome could affect Teleology’s takeover attempts.
The court had previously attempted to halt the sale but the proceedings were discontinued, thanks to an informal approval.
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