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Teleology’ll inherit 13 banks’ debt from 9mobile in exchange for payment plan—Wood

Following the successful payment of the initial $50m, emerging owners of 9mobile, Teleology Holdings Limited says “With the execution of the Loan Purchase Agreement, Teleology will take over the loans of the 13 banks from 9mobile in exchange for a payment plan”.

In a telephone interview with the key promoter of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Mr. Adrian Wood from London with THISDAY, he noted that “All contractual documents for the 9mobile transaction had been executed by all the parties,” stressing that “This means that 9mobile will have no loans on its books and no longer owes the banks since Teleology has assumed the loans. This also means that 9mobile will have a shareholder loan”.

According to Wood who will seat as the executive vice chairman/CEO of 9mobile, “Teleology under the Loan Purchase Agreement had commenced the repayment of the $1.2 billion loan owed the banks”.

“We have started paying in consideration for taking over the loan portfolio. About half of the loan would have been paid by the time we takeover 9mobile, and we will continue with payments into the future,” Wood averred.

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

He revealed further that while efforts are on to pay the balance of $500m (bided value), “Teleology will over the next four to six weeks focus on getting regulatory approval for the acquisition of the firm”.

Additional details from the core investor showed that Teleology is a Gibraltar-registered firm made of 12 international and eight Nigerian shareholders.

Though the company is yet to have a known office and website for easy identification, Wood revealed that the eight Nigerian shareholders, he added, come from all sections of the country, saying: “Three are from the North-west (two from Kano and one from Katsina), one from North-central (Kogi State), one from the South-east (Anambra State), two from the South-south (Delta State), and one from the South-west (Osun State).

He disclosed further that “The shareholders will be unveiled once the transaction is closed, and with the makeup of our shareholders, our intention is to make 9mobile a Nigeria-centric operation.”

Continuing, Wood hinted that the technical competence of the team is superb as the incoming executive management team has a combined 374 years experience working in the telecommunications sector.

“We have 12 executives coming in and they comprise five of my former colleagues at MTN such as the ex-CTO and ex-CFO. Others include executives from Orange, Vodafone, Celtel and others.”

Explaining more on sources of funding, Wood noted that “Teleology’s financial support is coming from Afrexim Bank as well as UBS, which is raising equity from international and Nigerian banks”.

“Another distinguishing feature of our bid is that Teleology has formed an alliance with Safaricom, the biggest mobile operator in East Africa.

“The advantage of our alliance with Safaricom is that this would enable us to tap into M-pesa for mobile money services,” he said.

Analysts say with the very intimidating team of experts and nationwide spread of management executives, efficiency in service spread will be speedy and with high competitive advantage.

Business Hilights recalls that trouble started with 9mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria when it defaulted in $1.2bn syndicated loan from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks led by Access, Zenith, GTB and 10 others.

Claims by 9mobile in defaulting the repayment based on apparent naira devaluation and the economic recession pushed the regulator, NCC and CBN to move in to prevent loss of public trust in the industry.

In a swipe, the duo appointed a new board led by a Deputy Governor at the Apex bank, Dr. Joseph Nnanna under whom, Barclays Africa was assigned to conduct sales bidding process which was won by Teleology Holdings Limited.