If reports in Nigerian dailies are anything to go by, it appears that Teleology holdings Ltd will become the new owners of 9mobile.
Like I said when the acquisition drive started, it is better for the industry that none of the existing big operators get their hands on 9mobile. In the last few weeks, Globacom and Airtel had been touted as strong contenders to acquire the 4th mobile operator.
Teleology is a company promoted by Adrian Wood, the first CEO of MTN Nigeria.
The Guardian reports:
Sources, who were at the meeting in Lagos, yesterday, told The Guardian that Teleology, a private equity firm with an investment portfolio of $11 billion, offered more than $500 million to acquire the mobile network while Smile Communications offered about $300 million.
The sources stressed that that Teleology Holdings has been given 30 days to prove that it has the financial resources to take over 9Mobile, which currently battle to retain 17 million customers and improve on its 12 per cent market share.
According to the sources, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would still meet to consider Barclays Africa’s recommendation of Teleology Holdings for 9Mobile because of the licensing laws.
If this works out, mobile subscribers in Nigeria can continue to enjoy the power to choose from four – not three – mobile operators, as we would have on our hands had one of the existing competitors made the final cut.
Note that if Teleology doesn’t complete the process, the offer would go to Smile Communications. The countdown continues.