Business Hilights
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9mobile: Teleology Holdings set to meet non-refundable $50m deposit deadline

Logistics and arrangements are in top gear at Teleology Holdings Limited, the preferred bidder of 9mobile telecoms to make the official non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within the given payment window of 21 days after the announcement.

Barclays Africa, financial advisors to 9Mobile had last month in a letter announcing Teleology Holdings as the preferred bidder, asked the winner to make a non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within 21 days from the date of the letter, dated February 21, 2018, or lose the bid to Smile Holdings Limited.

Sources close to Business Hilights revealed yesterday that all is set for the completion of the payment and full takeover of the telecoms for effective take off of planned revival strategies.

The source described the recent and “trending media attacks on Teleology Holdings by one of the losers in the very rigorous bid process” as “unfortunate and figments of their imaginations”.

It would be recalled that the Executive Director, Operations at Smile Communications, Ahmad Farroukh, had averred in Lagos at the weekend, that 9Mobile deserved the best and should be sold to an existing telecoms company with the right technical expertise and financial strength to turn it around for the highly competitive market within a few months.

The same Smile Communications had also faulted the selection of Teleology Holdings as the preferred bidder on the grounds that Barclays Africa did not do a thorough job of the processes.

Whereas it has called for a review of the process, Smile’s grouse was contained in a letter addressed to Barclays Africa dated February 21, 2018 and signed by Templars, its solicitors.

It was gathered that both Barclays letter to Teleology on winning the bid and the protest letter from the reserved bidder, Smile were written the same day.

Wood AD
Adrian Woods, promoter of Teleology Holdings Limited, new possible owners of 9mobile

In the two-page letter to Barclays Africa, Smile expressed surprise and disappointment at the manner in which the selection process for the Preferred Bidder and Reserve Bidder was conducted.

Of particular concern to Smile Telecoms, was the fact that the selection of the Preferred Bidder was announced before the stated deadline of February 26, 2018 as set out in the process letter.

Farroukh said Smile would bring three-dimensional values to 9Mobile once it was allowed to acquire it, hinting that “The first value is that we are Nigerian company already existing in the Nigerian telecoms space. So, we will come up with our existing assets to boost the 9Mobile operations. We will seek the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) permission to flip our existing 800MHz frequency to 9Mobile to enhance its operations. What we are bringing to 9Mobile is huge”.

Continuing, he stressed that “The second value that we will bring to 9Mobile is the monetary value. We will bring in fresh millions of dollars from foreign financing outside Nigeria, into 9Mobile to pay off its indebtedness to the banks and also pay off any other group that the company is indebted to and we will still have enough to invest in 9Mobile and make it competitive.”

Though efforts to convince the source close to Adrian Woods’ Teleology Holdings to comment on recent Smile’s outpouring failed as it maintained that “All we are concerned now is changing the failed fortunes of 9mobile because we have passed the bidding process stage”.

“The company is seriously mapping out strategies of market takeover modalities now and nothing more than that.