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9mobile Sale Postponed Till January 16, 2018 in Nigeria

Africa

9mobile Sale Postponed Till January 16, 2018 in Nigeria

The sale process of 9mobile (erstwhile Etisalat) has been postponed till January 16, 2018, by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission. The extension of the deadline was approved by the concerned authorities after 9mobile’s board requested for an extension, as per media reports. (See: Nigeria Telecom Industry Records An Year Of Upheavals In 2017.)

9mobile or Etisalat Nigeria was taken over by around 13 banks in July 2017 after a debt of N541 billion. Mubadala Group, a major investor from the United Arab Emirates, pulled out of Nigeria’s fourth-largest mobile operator as a result of the debt owed to a consortium of 13 banks. The management of the company was taken over by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecom regulator. 9mobile is being prepared for sale by Barclays Africa.

There are five potential bidders for the company: Teleology Holdings Limited, promoted by Adrian Wood, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria; Smile Telecoms Holdings, a telco operating in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo DR and South Africa; and Helios Investment Partners LLP, an investment company. Others include Bharti Airtel, India’s largest service provider which also has presence in African continent, and Globacom, the Nigerian company owned by Mike Adenuga Jnr.

So basically, the top three players of the Nigerian market, MTN, Airtel and Globalcom are trying to take over 9mobile, which is the fourth largest telecom service provider in the country. NCC and the banking watchdog, Central Bank of Nigeria will be playing a key role in the final decision regarding the future of 9mobile.

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