No preferred bidder in 9mobile takeover – NCC

Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, says there is no preferred bidder in 9mobile takeover

Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has reacted to reports in the newspaper and online that there is a preferred bidder to acquire 9mobile, formerly Etisalat.

The Nigerian regulator said that the exercise leading to the acquisition of the debt-laden company is strictly by the book, noting that, no bidder is favoured above others.

“Our attention has been drawn to newspaper publications alleging that a preferred bidder has been anointed to acquire 9Mobile and otherwise speculating on the outcome of the ownership transfer process,” NCC spokesperson, Tony Ojobo said.

He then went on to explain the process leading to the takeover. “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to provide the following clarification and update on the process: 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.

He stated that “An approval of the request for extension of time by the 9Mobile Interim Board was given by the 2 regulators – NCC and CBN.

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“This set the deadline for the receipt of binding offers from the prospective bidders till 16th January 2018.”

He noted further that “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 added.

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