Home Big Story Multi-Links ‘up for sale’ again for $40m

Multi-Links ‘up for sale’ again for $40m

Multi-Links ‘up for sale’ again for $40m
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Multi-Links Telecommunication Limited has been put up for sale at $40 million again following bank debts owed by the pioneer private telephone operator in Nigeria.

Technology Times learnt that a fresh sale of Multi-Links that runs on the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology is underway by receivership managers hoping to recoup debts owed Diamond Bank.

People conversant with the situation confirmed on condition of anonymity to Technology Times that receivership managed by a Nigerian law firm may have opened talks with interested parties to buy what is left of Multi-Links in the wake of several unsuccessful acquisitions of the phone business, including one to South Africa’s telecoms company, Telkom.


Before its latest fate, Helios Investment Partners (HIP) had in 2011 announced acquisition of 100 per cent stakes from previous shareholder, Telkom South Africa, who had hitherto bought the business to expand into Nigeria.

Technology Times file photo shows people seen buying and selling at Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market.
Technology Times file photo shows people seen buying and selling at Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market.

Under the plan, the receiver manager may plan to dispose of MultiLinks’ assets said to include its terrestrial fibre optic network spanning major cities in Nigeria and its frequency spectrum assets, to recoup debts owed the Nigerian bank.

Before its latest fate, Helios Investment Partners (HIP) had in 2011 announced acquisition of 100 per cent stakes from previous shareholder, Telkom South Africa, who had hitherto bought the business to expand into Nigeria.

Telkom pulled out of the investments citing unsuccessful attempts to turn around the company and losses recorded in its Nigerian telecoms market foray through Multi-Links.

Multi-Links was formed in 1996 by Indian investors and launched service in December 1997 competing for stakes in the deregulated telecoms market of that era dominated by the Nigerian Telecommunications Plc (NITEL now renamed Ntel following its sale), alongside rival PTOs like Intercellular Nigeria Limited, EM International Systems Nigeria Limited (EMIS), Mobitel, Starcomms Nigeria Limited, among others.

Multi-Links launched in Nigeria at the time with an aggressive expansion of its TDMA (alloted 9MHz in 800MHz frequency spectrum range) and CDMA (alloted 7MHz in 1900MHz frequency spectrum range) technologies to take dial tone across the country with a nationwide licence for wireline, fixed wireless and limited mobility services, including an ISP licence to offer Internet services.  

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