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Following indications that Teleology Holdings remains the highest bidder for the ownership of 9mobile, formally Etisalat Nigeria, the observed delay in announcing it as the winner is causing apprehension in the industry.
Industry experts had expected the announcement since the beginning of the week; hence the interim board of the company has adopted the recommendations of the sales consultant.
Though feelers on Tuesday revealed that joint meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and telecom industry regulator Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) are currently looking on the approval document presented by the board to authenticate or disavow the said sale, experts say any attempt to delay further in rounding up the nearly 10 months process would mean lack of transparency on the side of the federal agencies after all.
The preferred bidder Teleology Holdings had offered $500 million while the reserved bidder Smile Telecom Holdings offered $300 million.
Lead to the fear of dumping teleology filtered in yesterday when it was discovered that some industry experts who had wished another of the five shortlisted finalists to become the preferred winner, are now aiming to wedge a secret war on the strange ground that the winner should not be selected solely on the financial bid.
According to them, both CBN and NCC should further review the managerial acumen, industry track record and technology dexterity of the emerging winner.
The group is also seeking re-appraisal of the last two companies standing out of the sixteen companies that started the race for the acquisition of 9Mobile.
Teleology Holdings Limited is fronted by former chief executive officers of MTN Nigeria, Adrian Wood while the reserve bidder, Smile Telecoms Holdings, second leading ISP operator in Nigeria is managed by Ahmad Farroukh.
Whereas the group is trying to spike up disillusionment with reference to what they describe as Wood’s history of brief stay on several top job appointments he have held in Nigeria in the past, leading stakeholders in the telecoms sector say the best bet for both CBN and the NCC is to allow the highest bidder, Teleology Holdings to run a company it has won in a transparent bidding process after all.