By Olabisi Olaleye
Respite may finally be coming the way of embattled telecoms services provider, 9mobile as five top bidders wishing to buy its assets emerged yesterday.
The five firms that made it to the next stage of the bid are Airtel, Globacom, Smile, Helios, and Teleology Holdings Limited. Out of the five, one will be the eventual buyer in a matter of weeks.
However, MTN Group could not qualify to the final five companies in the bid for the firm.
Initially, 16 companies including MTN, Airtel, Ntel, Virgin Mobile from the United Kingdom and Vodacom of South Africa had tendered expressions of interest (EoIs) to Barclays, 9mobile’s financial advisor.
Ohers are BUA Group, Morning Side Capital Partners, Obot Etiebet & Co, Blackstone Private Equity, and Hamilton and George International Limited.
All efforts to reach 9mobile proved abortive, but Mr. Boye Onasanya, CEO 9mobile, in a memo earlier said the firm will have more extensive discussions with the shortlisted parties, as the company gets closer to its final bidder.
“We are now moving on to the next phase, with plans for more extensive discusssions and interaction with shortlisted parties, one of whom will emerge as final bidder in the coming weeks,” Onasanya said.
In July, Etisalat Group informed the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange that it had pulled out of 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, as a result of controversies surrouding the repayment of a $1.2 billion loan taken by the bank.