The process underway to sell 9mobile formerly Etisalat Nigeria will now be concluded by end of March, the telecoms regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says.
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that the telecoms regulator is reviewing the ability of the company shortlisted to buy 9mobile to provide optimal service quality.
On the other hand, NCC’s banking sector counterpart, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is conducting financial checks of the winner in the process managed by Barclays Africa to sell the number four mobile phone company in Nigeria.
Danbatta’s confirmation comes just as Mr Boye Olusanya, CEO of 9mobile has finally confirmed that the mobile phone company will be sold to Teleology Holdings, which emerged preferred bidder in the auctions.
TheCable, Nigeria’s authoritative online newspaper reports seeing a memo by the 9mobile CEO to employees charting forward the future of the company with its new owners.
“In line with my previous communications on the bid process, discussions and negotiations have put the board in a position to name Teleology Holdings as the preferred bidder for our company,” Olusanya says in the memo according to TheCable.
Teleology put in a bid of $500 million, Smile quoted $300 million, while Globacom, Nigeria’s second largest operator, and Helios Investment Partners LLP, an investment company, did not make any financial offer for 9mobile.
Meanwhile the NCC chief says the telecoms regulator is doing everything possible to avert the repeat of situations that led to 9mobile’s troubles when it came under hostile takeover threats by creditor banks over $1.2 billion debts.
“The NCC will continue to put in place flexible regulations that will ensure the survival of telecommunications companies in the marketplace”, Danbatta says in the interview.