Have They Sold 9Mobile? Why 9Mobile Belongs to Glo as Teleology Exits

Have They Sold 9Mobile? Why 9Mobile Belongs to Glo as Teleology Exits

No nation has any competitive #4 mobile carrier: two strong leading operators are typical. But in some cases, you can have a forceful #3. But anything beyond #3 is forgettable. Nigeria will not change that until we have billionaires who can buy English ball clubs just to tell their friends: “My boys will play tomorrow, come over to my booth”.

Yes, Teleology Holdings which received approval to take over the operations of 9mobile as the preferred bidder has pulled out of the deal.  The Founder of Teleology Holdings Limited, Mr. Adrian Wood, the pioneer CEO of MTN Nigeria, released a statement, noting: “We now must stand down from further work on the 9mobile project.”

Barely, two months after Teleology Holdings received approval to take over the operations of 9mobile as the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings has expressed its dissatisfaction with the business relationship with its local partner, 9mobile Nigeria, and has decided to pull out from the 9mobile project, THISDAY has learnt.

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“Fifteen Teleology experts have worked since June 2017 on detailed 9mobile turnaround planning, development strategies and financial restructuring. This included lining up more than $500 million fresh direct foreign investment from international institutions.
9mobile is an exciting opportunity to build a revolutionary mobile network that could be the pride of Nigeria, unfortunately it appears that we will not be able to participate,” Wood said.

Wood added that: “We now must stand down from further work on the 9mobile project.”

As I write this, Glo will be preparing a term sheet. Why? 9Mobile cannot even afford to pay its infrastructure service provider, IHS, which has approval of NCC to disconnect the mobile carrier. When you have huge debts you cannot service, have suppliers you cannot pay, and have lost 7 million subscribers in two years, you are not likely to live longer. I think Glo will end up picking 9Mobile as I had expected. You may ask – why not MTN or Airtel? Answers here.

The June 2017 Prediction of Glo Acquisition of 9Mobile

In this videocast, I make a case why Globacom, the operator of the Glo brand in Nigeria, will acquire Etisalat Nigeria, in 2017. Etisalat Nigeria is in a very challenging position to pay back about $1.2 billion loan to a consortium of banks. In the current market dynamics, with deteriorating ARPU (average revenue per user), it will be extremely difficult for the telecom company to meet that obligation. Glo has liquidity, relatively, and is owned by a respected businessman (Mike Adenuga) who can raise any capital required to close a deal. Glo needs to close its subscriber gap with MTN which enjoys more than 20 million extra subscribers.

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