Bharti Airtel says no value in buying 9mobile- sources


The air is beginning to settle on why Bharti Airtel, owners of Airtel Nigeria pulled out of the bid to acquire Nigeria’s third-largest mobile carrier, 9mobile.

According to an unnamed source who spoke to Reuters News, the company might have been discouraged by the lack of sufficient information and apparent non-viability of 9mobile in its present form.

“Airtel is not interested in 9mobile because it sees little value in the company,” the source said.

It would be recalled that Big Business unit had reported in the last two weeks that Bharti Airtel had pulled out of the deal due to an opaque nature of the acquisition process.

The entire bid which is being midwived by Barclays (the financial adviser to 9mobile) has been a mixed bag of intrigues and legal tussles. Barclays has announced at the tail end of last year that it shortlisted Teleology Holdings, Globacom, Smile Telecoms (which has now pulled out) and Helios Investment Partners, owners of Interswitch Group.

While Barclays has not been able to declare a winner as directed by the Nigerian National Communications Commission, NCC, for the 16th of January, the judgement that was given to Spectrum Wireless has further complicated the process.

Bharti Airtel, an Indian national mobile carrier owns the majority stake in Airtel Nigeria. Founded by Sunil Mittal, the company itself has been declaring losses in the last 12 months.