Apex telecom regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denounced rumors that a preferred bidder has emerged to acquire 9Mobile, formerly Etisalat.
NCC, also announced a new deadline of January 16, 2018, for the acquisition to be concluded against the earlier date of December 31, 2017., Just as Barclays Africa remained in charge.
The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said the attention of the Commission has been drawn to newspaper publications alleging that a preferred bidder has been anointed to acquire 9Mobile.
He described the report as “speculating on the outcome of the ownership transfer process.”
Ojobo said that for the avoidance of doubt, is following due process, providing six-point clarifications, namely:
- Barclays Africa remains in full control of the process leading to the emergence of a new owner for the company. Barclays has not authorized any publication on the matter and is obliged to maintain full confidentiality thereon.
- An approval of the request for an extension of time by the 9Mobile Interim Board was given by the 2 regulators – NCC and CBN. This set the deadline for the receipt of binding offers from the prospective bidders till 16th January 2018.
- Contrary to speculations that a “winner” will be announced on the same day (i.e. 16th of January 2018) we wish to clarify that Barclays is expected to review the bids received by the deadline and to make recommendations to the 9Mobile Interim Board thereafter.
- The NCC and CBN will be duly notified once the 9Mobile Interim Board accepts Barclays’ recommendations and a winning bid is determined in accordance with the terms of the exercise.
- The winner will now apply to NCC in order to commence the processes for securing the regulatory approvals from the Board of the NCC necessary to give full effect to the transfer.
- We trust that the foregoing sufficiently clarifies the position of the transaction and that it lays to rest any apprehensions regarding the unfounded media publications on the sale” Ojobo submitted.