9 Mobile, formerly
Etisalat Nigeria, has been put up for sale and the list of companies interested
in its acquisition has just been pruned down to 10 from the initial 16 that
showed interest. The move to sell the company has come as no surprise to many
given the hugely publicized financial troubles the company ran into when it failed to meet up on
a loan deal worth $1.2 billion it entered with a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks.
The 10 remaining
contenders for the acquisition of Nigeria’s 4th largest telecoms outfit are as
Smile Telecoms Holdings
Centricus Capital and Africell
Teleology Holdings Limited
The Carlyle Group
Alheri Engineering Limited
Africa Capital Alliance
The 10 companies listed above have been cleared to proceed with their financial bid for the company and it is expected that a winner will emerge soon.I would like to think that MTN Nigeria already has enough subscribers on its network after it acquired Visafone. Else, how else can one explain its conspicuous absence from the list of bidders?
The company which
commenced operation in Nigeria in 2009 was enmeshed in financial crises early
this year when it couldn’t pay back a loan of 1.2 billion dollar, a
situation that lead to its takeover by the consortium of financial institutions and subsequent change of name to 9 Mobile.