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Nigeria’s 9Mobile’s Fate Still Unclear

Africa

Nigeria’s 9Mobile’s Fate Still Unclear

Nigeria’s Federal High Court has nullified the Ex Parte Order earlier issued last year on July 3 approving the appointment of an Interim Board for Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service (EMTS) or Etisalat, now 9mobile. (See: 9Mobile Sale Postponed.)

The judge gave the verdict on Friday in a ruling on an application by a firm, Spectrum Wireless Communication Ltd, which claimed it invested $35 million in EMTS/Etisalat in 2009. United Capital is the umbrella body of all the 13 banks being owed $1.2 billion by 9mobile. Spectrum Wireless is one of the non-banks investor in the company.

The company is the fourth largest telecommunications service operator in Nigeria. Last year, 9Mobile was taken over 13 banks to which it owed $1.2 billion. Now the bank is trying to sell the company. (See: Nigeria Records 100% Teledensity; A Year Of Upheavals In 2017.)

The order also nullifies the appointment of Dr. Joseph Nnana of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Chairman, Boye Olusanya as Managing Director, Funke Ighodaro as Chief Financial Officer, Seyi Bickersthet and Ken Igbokwe as board members of EMTS. (See: Why are telcos losing subscribers in Nigeria.)

The interim board of EMTS had received bids from about five bidders, including Globalcom, Airtel and MTN, in its intended sale of the company. The sale of 9Mobile was to be concluded by December 31 but this was postponed to January 16.

There has been a concern that to take over a company by the banks pointed towards a possible takeover by the Government.

 

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