Bharti Airtel, Helios petition FG over sales of 9Mobile


Bharti Airtel International, owners of Airtel Nigeria and UK private equity firm, Helios Investment Partners, have petitioned the Nigerian government over the ongoing process to sell 9mobile formerly Etisalat Nigeria.

The  two companies had ended up among five bidders shortlisted to buy 9mobile. The petitions were sent to Nigerian Telecommunication Commission ( NCC)  and banking regulators supervising the transaction alongside their appointed transaction adviser, Barclays Africa, in the ongoing sales deal said to be internally codenamed Project Nexus.

Bidders were offered 99.99% shares of Emerging Market Telecommunications Services Limited (EMTS) that trades as 9mobile following hostile takeover attempt of the number four mobile phone company by bank creditors over an estimated $1.2 billion debt.

Barring any last-minute change, Teleology Holdings Limited is expected to take over 9mobile after staking a winning bid of $500 million over the $300 million offered by Smile Communication Limited, the reserve bidder, TheCable, Nigeria’s authoritative online newspaper, has exclusively reported.

The report also says the other three bidders, Airtel, Helios and Globacom, Nigeria’s Second National Operator (SNO) refused to submit financial bids in the transaction.

Meanwhile, details have emerged today that Airtel and Helios have filed protests expressing concerns over alleged irregularities surrounding the 9mobile sales process by Barclays Africa.