5 Bidders Emerge For 9Mobile As NCC Reiterates On Dec. 31 For Handover

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed that five entities have emerged as bidders for the embattled telco, 9Mobile (formerly Etisalat).

Speaking in an interview with pressmen in Abuja on Thursday during the 82nd edition of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer parliament, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbattaa, who indicated that the NCC was supervising the takeover process alongside the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the final bidder that would be allowed to take over the mobile operator must have the financial and technical capabilities to run the company.

He also reiterated that the December 31 deadline for the handover of 9mobile to the preferred bidder is sacrosanct.

The five entities – all of them telcos – are Airtel, Globacom, Smile Communications, Helios, and Teleology Holdings Limited.

He said, “Five bidders have emerged for 9mobile. They have been allowed to assess the data room of 9mobile in order to enable them to assess the financial status of the company and subsequently make bids for its takeover. But the takeover must be in a regulated manner.

“The CBN and the NCC are supervising what is going on through an interim board jointly appointed by the NCC and the CBN. We are going to do due diligence on the financial capacity of any potential bidder as well as the technical capacity.

“In the final analysis, we will like to see a 9Mobile taken over by a bidder who has the financial and technical capacity to improve on the operations of the telco and add value in delivery of qualitative telecoms services in the country.”

9mobile, which was formerly Etisalat, rebranded after its major owners in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, pulled out and a new board was inaugurated to run its affairs.

This was after failed negotiation with its lenders over a missed payment of the $1.2billion loan taken from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks in 2013.

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Source: New feed