9mobile bidders mull alliance to swing sale

9mobile bidders mull alliance to swing sale

9mobile bidders mull alliance to swing sale

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Bidders vying to buy 9mobile may head for an alliance deal to swing the process underway to sell the number four mobile operator in Nigeria, Technology Times has learnt.

Five bidders have been made the list of companies planning to buy 9mobile formerly called Etisalat Nigeria after takeover of the mobile phone by creditors including a group of banks over estimated $1.2 billion debts.

Barring any last minute change, no fewer than four players may team up to pull off a major coup de grace in their bid to buy 9mobile as the springboard towards market leadership in the Nigerian telecoms market.

Barring any last minute change, no fewer than four players may team up to pull off a major coup de grace in their bid to buy 9mobile as the springboard towards market leadership in the Nigerian telecoms market.

MTN Nigeria, which is currently the biggest by subscriber base, comfortably manage that market lead with over 50 million active lines ahead of Glo mobile owned by the SNO, Globacom, a distant number two with about 37 million at Q3 2017.

Airtel, Globacom, Smile, Helios, and Teleology Holdings Limited were confirmed as the last five bidders in the race to buy 9mobile, Boye Onasanya, CEO of 9mobile has confirmed in a report by TheCable.

Meanwhile, if the parties agree to a deal, the tie-up may see the sale ending up between two contenders, Technology Times has learnt from people conversant with details of the 9mobile sale process underway, and hoped to be completed before year end.

The architects of the alliance bid intend to pool resources that brings to the table an unbeatable offer that will guarantee that they secure control of 9mobile. It is not yet know if they will create a joint venture (JV) vehicle to advance their plan to gain ownership of 9mobile.

Dr Mike Adenuga, Chairman, Globacom Limited, owners of Glo Mobile Benin
Dr Mike Adenuga, Chairman, Globacom Limited, owners of Glo Mobile
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Airtel
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Airtel

Market analysts wager that beyond just buying 9mobile, parties in favour of the alliance plan believe that it will radically change the fortune of the mobile network operator as the combined entity —post sale—will become the biggest mobile phone company in Nigeria.

Details of the plans are being kept closely to the chest of key movers of the plan to avert disclosure or any likely unexpected consequence that may avert closing the 9mobile purchase deal.

Market might is often measured by subscriber numbers and promoters of the merger and market analysts reckon that two entities that are most suited to fit that bill in the race are either Globacom, owned by Nigerian business magnate, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr and Bharti Airtel, owners of Airtel Nigeria, owned by Indian businessman, Sunil Bharti.

Irene Charnley of Smile Telecom
Irene Charnley, Smile Group’s Chief Executive Officer

MTN Nigeria, which is currently the biggest by subscriber base, comfortably manage that market lead with over 60 million active lines ahead of Glo mobile owned by the SNO, Globacom, a distant number two with about 37 million at Q3 2017.

At end of October market numbers and share of the pie were split among MTN with 50,720,702 (36.14%) active lines; Glo with 37,418,933 (26.66%); 35,089,690 (25.00%) and 17,121,058 (12.20%).

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