By Prince Osuagwu (Hi-Tech Editor)
LAGOS – 9mobile yesterday officially reacted to the alleged withdrawal of Teleology from the company, saying the company represented by former MTN chief Executive, Adrian Wood, was unserious and did not help much in acquiring 9Mobile.
In a statement signed by 9Mobile’s Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Oluseyi Osunsedo, the company said: ” Teleology Nigeria Limited is a consortium including several local and foreign investors. While every partner in the consortium was delivering and meeting their obligations to the partnership in terms of financial resources, physical availability for crucial meetings and extensive network to help build the business, Mr. Adrian Wood’s Teleology Holdings Limited, which only owned a minority stake in Teleology Nigeria Limited, failed severally and wholly to meet theirs. Mr. Wood was not personally present for all the critical presentations made by the consortium during the bid process and failed abjectly with his financing arrangements with Swiss-based UBS Bank. In all these failings, other partners in the consortium filled the gap and pushed ahead until the sale was completed.
“Since taking over the company, and without any assistance from Mr. Wood or Teleology Holdings, the Board has revived and enhanced relationships with key vendors and core business accounts; improved business relationships with suppliers; enhanced its core network capabilities to deliver network efficiency competitively with other operators. With the assistance of leading global consultants, the company is also undertaking a complete review of its operational, regulatory, financial and technical architecture. On these bases, 9mobile has emerged from a period of uncertainty over the past two years to attain an active subscriber base of 16 million, representing a net increase of over 1 million subscribers in the last 6 weeks alone”.
“In the aftermath of the protracted mismanagement of the company, and eventual default on its loans by the previous owners, 9mobile was acquired by Teleology Nigeria Limited, after a bidding process led by Barclays Africa, with participation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and thirteen Nigerian banks including GT Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and others.
“This process was concluded with the initial deposit of $50 million and a further payment of $251 million as settlement to the banks who took over the company. These payments as well as further due diligence and technical evaluations led to the clearance of the sale by the NCC, and handover of 9mobile to the new owners, who announced a Board on 12 November 2018 with Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero as the new Chairman”.
The company says its core strategy in the short to medium term shall be underpinned by cost efficiency, innovative product development, network efficiency and strategic technical partnerships.
“We believe that this approach towards organic growth is more sustainable in building a strong Nigerian telecom operator, which taps into the deep technical expertise of the Nigerian labour force than an approach motivated by short-term financial gain advocated by Mr. Wood and his associates”the statement added.