After Months of Uncertainty, Teleology Holdings Finally Takes over the Reins at 9mobile

David Afolayan
9mobile

Things seem to be taking shape at the beleaguered Nigerian telecoms company, 9mobile as new owners, Teleology Holdings have made major changes to the board of Directors of the company. According to BusinessDay Newspaper,  the report of the shakeup was contained in a statement issued by the company yesterday evening.

The new board of directors will be led by Nasiru Ado Bayero, the 54-year-old Kano Prince. The board also has Stephane Beuvelet, former Chief Technical Officer at MTN, Cote D’Ivoire as the acting managing director.

Other members of the board are: Asega Aliga (Non-Executive Director), Adrian Wood (Non-Executive Director), Mohammed Edewor (Non-Executive Director), Winston Ndubueze Udeh (Non-Executive Director) and Abdulrahman Ado (Executive Director).

The appointment of the board followed the exit of a CBN-appointed board and transfer of ownership of the firm to the new investors, Teleology Nigeria Limited.

A brief background

The story started when 9Mobile (formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria) defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan obtained from a consortium of 13 banks led by GT Bank. This led to the pulling of the parent company, Etisalat, out of the UAE and relinquishing its 45% stake in the telecoms company.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Nigerian Telecommunication Commission (NCC), in July 2017 appointed a Board of Directors for 9Mobile. The board was chaired by Dr Okwu Joseph Nnanna, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Its major duty was to oversee the affairs of the company pending the completion of regulatory due diligence of the bid documents submitted by Teleology and sixteen others for its acquisition.

Following a strong contest among bidders, the NCC came up with guidelines to navigate the process. According to the NCC, the preferred bidder must have operated a telecom company over the last three to five years. The commission warned that even the preferred bidder could still be disqualified if lacking the required competence even after paying the non-refundable $50 million deposit.

Later 9mobile was said to have been approved at a cost of $500 million. Teleology was eventually chosen as the preferred bidder at a bid price of $301 million. They beat about 16 other companies that tendered expressions of interest (Eols), Smile communications being very prominent.

Conclusion

With this development, the protracted process of the acquisition of 9mobile has come to a definitive conclusion. The big question now is: what next for 9mobile?


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