Smile Communications waits in the wings
By John Eche
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof Umar Danbata has disclosed that the race to acquire 9Mobile was presently in its final lap.
Speaking on the occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN in Abuja on Tuesday, Danbata revealed that as things stood now Teleology which had been chosen as preferred bidder had only a few days to pay up the prescribed reserve price, failing which the offer would then be thrown open to the reserved bidder, Smile Communications.
Said the EVC : ‘‘The information I have for you is that an emerged bidder has been granted leave to pay the reserve price, starting with a deposit of $50 million which the emerged bidder has paid.
‘‘What remains for the preferred bidder is to pay the sum of $450 million in the next 90 days or less. And after the payment of that balance, 9mobile will be transferred to the emerged bidder which is Teleology. ‘
‘In the event Teleology fails to make the payment at the expiration of the deadline, then the reserved bidder will be considered, and the reserved bidder is Smile Communications.’’
9Mobile is the current trading name of Etisalat Nigeria. The telecommunications player which had been majorly promoted by the Abu Dhabi-emerging global player, Etisalat Communications, had been taken over by the authorities following its inability to meet its then rising debt obligations to creditor banks.
CBN Governor, Emefiele