No winner has been picked in the process underway to sell 9mobile formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, the telecoms regulator says.
Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Tony Ojobo, said this when he denied news reports that a preferred bidder has emerged in the race to buy the fourth largest mobile phone company in the country, 9mobile.
“Our attention has been drawn to newspaper publications alleging that a preferred bidder has been anointed to acquire 9Mobile and otherwise speculating on the outcome of the ownership transfer process”, Ojobo says in the statement.
According to him, “Barclays Africa remains in full control of the process leading to the emergence of a new owner for the company. Barclays has not authorized any publication on the matter and is obliged to maintain full confidentiality thereon.”
He explains that an approval of the request for extension of time by the 9Mobile Interim Board was given by the two regulators, NCC, the telecoms regulator, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the banking regulator. “This set the deadline for the receipt of binding offers from the prospective bidders till 16th January 2018.”
Ojobo also hints that “contrary to speculations that a “winner” will be announced on the same day (i.e. 16th of January 2018) we wish to clarify that Barclays is expected to review the bids received by the deadline and to make recommendations to the 9Mobile Interim Board thereafter.”
After this, “NCC and CBN will be duly notified once the 9Mobile Interim Board accepts Barclays’ recommendations and a winning bid is determined in accordance with the terms of the exercise.”
At this stage, “the winner will now apply to NCC in order to commence the processes for securing the regulatory approvals from the Board of the NCC necessary to give full effect to the transfer.”