NCC responds to news that an anointed bidder has been selected to acquire 9Mobile

The Nigerian Communications commission has released a
statement in response to newspaper publications alleging that a preferred
candidate has been chosen to acquire the now distressed 9 Mobile Nigeria. The
company which was formally known as Etisalat Nigeria, ran into troubles as a
result of her inability to pay back a loan of $1.2 billion obtained from a consortium
led by Guarantee Trust bank, leading to a takeover by the consortium and an
eventual change of name. Find NCC’s official statement on the bidding process for
9Mobile below:

NCC clears the air on 9Mobile acquisition.

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.

For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to provide the following clarification and update on the process:

1. 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.

2. An approval of the request for extension of time by the 9Mobile Interim Board was given by the 2 regulators – NCC and CBN. This set the deadline for the receipt of binding offers from the prospective bidders till 16th January 2018.

3. 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.

4. The 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.

5. 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.

6. We trust that the foregoing sufficiently clarifies the position of the transaction and that it lays to rest any apprehensions regarding the unfounded media publications on the sale.

Tony Ojobo
Director, Public Affairs

The five remaining companies jostling for the acquisition of Nigeria’s fourth largest telecoms outfit are Globacom Nigeria, Smile Telecoms, Bharti Airtel, Teleology Holdings Limited, and Helios Investment Partners.

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