MTN Nigeria, the largest mobile network operator in Nigeria, has reportedly expressed interest in purchasing the spectrum license of 9mobile (formerly known as Etisalat).
The move is part of MTN’s strategic expansion plans in the Nigerian telecommunications market.
Reports suggested that Teleology Holdings Limited emerged as the preferred bidder for 9mobile.
The acquisition process was supervised by Barclays Africa, the transaction advisors.
Teleology, a private equity firm with an impressive investment portfolio of $11 billion, offered more than $500 million to acquire the mobile network.
In the final round of the takeover bid, Teleology competed against Smile Communications.
Teleology is led by Mr Adrian Wood, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria.
Wood, an economist trained at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, played a pivotal role in the acquisition process.
Interestingly, after leaving MTN, Wood had previously attempted to acquire Nigeria’s pioneer national operator, Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL).
The ongoing conversation between Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited and MTN Nigeria revolves around the acquisition of 9mobile’s operating spectrum.
The deal aims to enhance MTN’s network capabilities and strengthen its position in the competitive Nigerian telecom industry.
Rumors about MTN Nigeria’s discussions with 9mobile have surfaced, but MTN has denied any concrete plans for a takeover.
A source said:
“Go and read the story very well. If you read the story very well, you will discover that the author is perambulating. So, I do not know which of the many issues raised is worthy of being responded to.
“At one breadth, the author says it is spectrum; in another, it is MNVO. If 9mobile wants to sell stakes to MTN, the management would come out clear and straight about.”
However, the situation remains fluid, and industry watchers are closely monitoring further developments.
Another close source said:
“There are conversations around that area and details will be made known later.”