Nigeria: Teleology May Pull Out Of 9mobile Acquisition Amid Board Disagreements

There is a chance that Teleology Holdings could decide to walk away from its hard-won acquisition of Nigeria’s 9mobile after reports started doing the rounds about the operator’s management shooting down the buyer’s turnaround plan.

After a sales process that was full of confusion and obstacles, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) approved the sale of 9mobile to Teleology Holdings for the staggering amount of $500 million in August last year.
The unit had rebranded from Etisalat Nigeria right after the UAE-based group and the investment fund Mubadala left the Nigerian market and withdrew their backing in 2017 when they were unsuccessful in renegotiating the terms and conditions of a $1.2 billion loan.

Teleology had long been viewed as the preferred buyer for the company despite its rival Smile Telecoms repeatedly claiming that it would by far be the better owner of 9mobile.

Last March, it started to seem as though Teleology had lost interest in the sale as it neared the deadline for paying a $50 million deposit but had made an effort to come forward with the money. It eventually paid the required amount at the last minute.

After this, 9mobile and Teleology collaborated in a joint venture called Teleology Nigeria to tackle implementation. However, recent media reports now indicate that the founder of Teleology Holdings, Adrian Wood has resigned from 9mobile’s board because of his dissatisfaction with the rejection of the proposed turnaround plan, and as a result, Teleology Holdings might ultimately pull out of the joint venture.

Wood reportedly said that fifteen Teleology experts had worked tirelessly since June 2017 on a detailed 9mobile turnaround plan. He added that his team’s plans for 9mobile could have turned it into a revolutionary mobile network that could have become the pride of Nigeria, but unfortunately, none of that would happen now.

Teleology Holdings stands to lose its $50M deposit if it backs out on the deal.

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