Scramble for $500m 9mobile in Africa’s largest gsm market ends as Teleology emerges bid winner

In an official letter written by transaction advisor Barclays Africa, Teleology Holdings emerged as the preferred bidder for the acquisition of 9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth-largest mobile network operator.

Confirming this, a source who spoke to BusinessDay said the letter serves as an official document for the conclusion of the sale of 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat.

The letter states that, the company is to make a non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within 21 days from the date of the letter or forfeit its position as the preferred bidder.

The Teleology Holding’s position as the highest bidder, comes nearly 10 months after Mubadala Development Company of the United Arab Emirates, Etisalat’s largest shareholder, withdrew its investment from Nigeria and exited the country over a protracted $1.2 billion syndicated loan, alleged to have been mismanaged by the former board of the telecommunications firm.

With an offer of over $500 million to acquire the mobile network, Teleology holdings having an investment portfolio of $11 billion, beat Smile Communications who offered about $300 million, to first place.

Initially, over 10 bidders indicated interest in acquiring the mobile network. However, only 5 – Bharti Airtel, Globacom, Helios Investment, Smile Communications and Teleology Holdings Limited – made the cut.

Although Teleology emerged top, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would still meet regarding approval for the deal.