The never-ending twists and turns involving beleaguered GSM operator 9Mobile have taken another turn as Teleology Holdings Limited (run by Adrian Wood) has pulled out from Teleology Nigeria (the consortium of investors that bought the telco). Woods was CEO of MTN Nigeria between 2001-2004.
While none of the parties involved have issued an official statement, some reports have attributed Woods exit to the refusal of Teleology Nigeria Limited to sign a management service contract.
Yet other reports suggest Woods was axed because he had being unable to pay his 13% equity in Teleology Nigeria.
Omar Farouk Mohammed-Edewor, however, laid clear the distinction between both firms.
Twists and turns so far
9Mobile’s (then known as Etisalat Nigeria) woes began when it defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan provided by a consortium of Nigerian Banks. Parent company Etisalat of the UAE exited the firm, and the banks threatened to take over.
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They were however restrained by the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with the duo constituting an interim board. The NCC, in particular, had to step in, to prevent the banks from going against regulation by attempting to run the firm. Some of the affected banks then made provisions on the loan.
Barclays Africa then midwifed a bidding process for Etisalat of the UAE’s stake. Five firms – Globacom, Smile, Airtel, Helios and Teleology Holdings, made it to the final bidding stage, however, Airtel, allegedly withdrew from the bid process due to what it termed irregularities. Parties familiar with the bid process, however, denied this.
Teleology Holdings has since paid $50 million as a deposit, and 9Mobile has begun repayment of loans to the banks.
One more puzzle
Teleology Holdings move leaves one question unanswered? Was it Teleology Nigeria that paid the $50 million deposit or Teleology Holdings?