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We said it: Adrian Wood’s Teleology now preferred bidder for 9mobile

Indications emerged weekend that the interim board of 9mobile is set to give ownership nod to Teleology Holdings Limited as the preferred bidder for 9mobile.

The embattled telecom is Nigeria’s fourth-largest mobile network which last year ran into the murky waters of defaulted syndicated loan of $1.2bn, thus prompting the 13 consortium of banks to attempt a hostile acquisition before government intervened.

The public announcement by the board led by Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Dr. Joseph Nnanna, is expected any time from today, Monday, January 29, 2018.

Business Hilights had on December 18, 2017 reported that bidding odds favour either Teleology or Globacom (https://businesshilights.com.ng/9mobiles-ownership-odds-favour-teleology-holdings-globacom/).

Opening paragraph of the report read in parts: “Out of the last five shortlisted investors to acquire the embattled 9mobile Telecoms, indications emerged weekend, pointing to the directions of either Nigeria’s national carrier, Globacom or Teleology Holdings Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), put up by some influential Nigerians with foreign stakeholders link (names with held) to bid for ownership of the company currently stressed by loan default. The other three finalists include Airtel, Smile and Helios Group”.

Teleology Holdings Limited, promoted by Adrian Wood, the pioneer Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, was one of the shortlisted five investors bidding for 9mobile.

Observers say his track record and management background have all it takes to drive and revive the troubled 9mobile.

Adrian Wood is an economist, educated at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. From 1969 to 1977, he taught at Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of King’s College and a lecturer in the Faculty of Economics. From 1977 to 1985, he was a senior economist at the World Bank in Washington DC, working on China, Turkey and the 1980 World Development Report. From 1985 to 2000, he was a Professorial Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, and from 2000 to 2005 was Chief Economist of the UK’s Department for International Development.

Apart from being the core promoter of Teleology Holdings Limited, Wood is still a top official of Brymedia West Africa Limited in the position of Chief Executive Officer and was employed at MTN Group Ltd. in the position of Former Group Chief Operating Officer and Member of Group Tender Committee.

Our correspondent gathered further that Barclays Africa, the financial adviser managing the sales of 9mobile had since submitted its recommendation to the board, which met weekend to review the recommendation.

Besides, the board, having gone through the report and advice, abided by the key recommendation which is naming Teleology Holdings as preferred bidders.

On how to handle the recent High Court injunction stopping the sale by Spectrum Wireless Communication on claims of not being part of the board, having invested over $35 million in the telecoms company, it was gathered that an appeal had been filed.

Otherwise, the filing of appeal which means status quo encouraged the continuation of the sale process which tends to produce Teleology Holdings Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up by Wood and others to revive the embattled telecom which is former Etisalat Nigeria.