14 May Nigeria: Despite Challenges, 9Mobile Deal Will Go Ahead – Report
Despite the challenges from different opposition groups trying to stop the ongoing sale of 9mobile to an investment firm, Teleology Holdings, the deal is still on course and will still go ahead, according to sources.
TMT Finance reported that the 9mobile deal would still go ahead despite the challenges from opposition groups that are trying to use the court to stop the sale of 9mobile to the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings Limited.
According to the report, some operators have been lobbying for the 9mobile case, which could end up with Teleology being auditioned in front of the House of Representative to present the viability of its project for 9mobile.
A Federal High Court had also put on hold the sale of 9mobile following opposition to the deal by some shareholders of the company. One of the companies said to be a shareholder in 9mobile and a plaintiff in the suit is Katsina businessman, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal.
However, sources added it would be hard to find grounds to stop the deal from happening on both of these fronts.
As for the court order, the local councils overseeing case have already given an informal approval for the deal to go ahead, sources commented.
Considering all the delays, the transaction could close late June.
The report said Teleology Holdings has hired UBS to help it raise a $300million bridge loan which will come from local banks and investors.
Teleology, it was gathered, made an offer of $301 million to acquire 9mobile, and had since paid the $50 million NIN-refundable cash deposit to clinch its preferred bidder position for the sale of 9mobile.
The remaining amount to be paid will be raised via equity, the TMT Finance report said.
Teleology, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), was set up by Nigerian investors.
Teleology is under the stewardship of Adrian Wood, one of the past CEOs of MTN Nigeria.
Adrian Wood, an Australian-born technocrat, was the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria from 2002 to 2004.
In all of the opposition, Wood remained resolute and optimistic that he would deliver on promise in terms of the financial ability of Teleology to pay all monies pertaining to the acquisition of 9mobile, and in terms of the technical capability to handle 9mobile.
To set the ball rolling, Wood, in less than 24 hours after meeting the March 22 deadline for the payment of the $50 million non-refundable cash deposit for 9mobile, announced his 10-point agenda on which the telecoms company would be managed.
Teleology, in a statement detailed an ambitious plan of action that would guide its rapid overhaul not only of the network but all aspects of the operations.
According to Wood, “9mobile is transiting into a new phase that will be defined by optimal value delivery: value to our employees, value to our customers, value to local communities and indeed to all stakeholders.”
He added that the new organisation to emerge would be “engineering led and brand driven.” In delivering service, we will strive to ensure that 9mobile operations deliver fulfillment to our customers, empowerment to local communities, protection to the vulnerable, and excellent rewards not only to our shareholders but to all stakeholders,” Wood said