Teleology pays $50 million to win 9mobile


Teleology Holdings, the preferred bidder in 9mobile acquisition deal has confirmed it has made an initial payment to consummate the transaction.

Barclays Africa, the financial advisor to 9mobile mandated Teleology to pay at least $50 million to begin the takeover process of the debt-ridden mobile carrier.

Adrian Wood, the representative of Teleology said “We’ve taken over 9mobile’s loans.”

According to a report by ThisDay Newspaper, Teleology was said to have paid the $50 million from Keystone Bank, with United Capital Trustees Ltd and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc as beneficiaries.

“Once the transfer was confirmed, we got a receipt from the trustees confirming payment.” He also explained that all contractual documents for the 9mobile transaction had been executed by all the parties.

“The Share Purchase Agreement has been executed, so has the Loan Purchase Agreement.

“With the execution of the Loan Purchase Agreement, Teleology will take over the loans of the 13 banks from 9mobile in exchange for a payment plan.

“This means that 9mobile will have no loans on its books and no longer owes the banks since Teleology has assumed the loans. This also means that 9mobile will have a shareholder loan,” he said.

Wood, who after the conclusion of the deal will assume the position of executive vice chairman/CEO of 9mobile, also said Teleology under the Loan Purchase Agreement had commenced the repayment of the $1.2 billion loan owed the banks.

“We have started paying in consideration for taking over the loan portfolio. About half of the loan would have been paid by the time we takeover 9mobile, and we will continue with payments into the future,” he said.

The incoming 9mobile CEO also revealed that in addition to paying the balance of its bid price for the telecoms firm, Teleology will over the next four to six weeks focus on getting regulatory approval for the acquisition of the firm.

Also opening up the faces behind Teleology, Wood said the company is a Gibraltar-registered firm made of 12 international and eight Nigerian shareholders.

The eight Nigerian shareholders, he added, come from all sections of the country, saying: “Three are from the North-west (two from Kano and one from Katsina), one from North-central (Kogi State), one from the South-east (Anambra State), two from the South-south (Delta State), and one from the South-west (Osun State).

“The shareholders will be unveiled once the transaction is closed, and with the make up of our shareholders, our intention is to make 9mobile a Nigeria-centric operation.”

He also said the incoming executive management team put together by Teleology has a combined 374 years experience working in the telecommunications sector.

“We have 12 executives coming in and they comprise five of my former colleagues at MTN such as the ex-CTO and ex-CFO. Others include executives from Orange, Vodafone, Celtel and others.”

On the financial backbone for its takeover bid, Wood said Teleology’s financial support is coming from Afrexim Bank as well as UBS, which is raising equity from international and Nigerian banks.

“Another distinguishing feature of our bid is that Teleology has formed an alliance with Safaricom, the biggest mobile operator in East Africa.”

Formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, the company entered troubled waters after it could no longer service its debt with local and international lenders.

“The advantage of our alliance with Safaricom is that this would enable us to tap into M-pesa for mobile money services,” he said.