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Glo, Airtel, Dangote, Seven Others Advance to Final Stage in 9mobile Bid

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  • Glo, Airtel, Dangote, Seven Others Advance to Final Stage in 9mobile Bid

The scramble to acquire 9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest network operator, has advanced to the next stage, with 10 out of the 16 firms that submitted expressions of interest (EoIs) for the telecoms firm, prequalified by Barclays – the financial adviser to the deal – to proceed to the financial bid stage of the exercise.

Sources conversant with the deal informed that the 10 firms, having passed the technical evaluation bid stage, have been prequalified to submit their financial bids for the acquisition of 9mobile.

As part of the financial bid process, the companies will also be required to submit bid bonds of $150 million each as evidence of their capacity to pay for the acquisition of 9mobile.

The companies include Globacom Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s second largest network operator founded in 2003 by business mogul, Chief Michael Adenuga; India’s Bharti Airtel, operating as Airtel in Nigeria; Dangote Group’s telecoms business unit, Alheri Engineering Limited, which has the backing of U.S.-based Blackstone Group with an investment portfolio of $378 billion and a Nigerian subsidiary called the Black Rhino Group; Smile Telecoms Holdings, a South African telecommunications group with subsidiaries in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda; and Helios Towers, the former owner and operator of the largest telecoms tower network in Nigeria and other countries, before it sold its Nigerian infrastructure to HIS.

Other firms that have moved on to the financial bid stage of the competitive tender are: Centricus Capital and Africell, a subsidiary of the Lebanon-based Lintel Group of Companies, with cellular communications operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Uganda; Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, a private equity firm with an investment portfolio of $11 billion; Teleology Holdings Limited, a special purpose vehicle led by a former chief executive of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Adian Wood, and Ericsson; Africa Capital Alliance (ACA), a leading pan-African investment firm based in Lagos; and The Carlyle Group, a U.S.-based multinational private equity, alternative asset management and financial services corporation.

A banking source also said that now that the 10 firms have been prequalified to submit their financial bids for 9mobile, this will be the final process from which a winner with the highest bid submitted for 9mobile, will emerge.

The winner, according to the source, will then be invited to negotiate and agree to the payment terms to takeover 9mobile.

Should the firm that wins the financial bid stage fail to meet the payment terms within the stipulated period agreed with Barclays, the reserve bidder (or the firm that submitted the second highest bid) will be invited to acquire 9mobile.

9mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria, was put on the block early this year after it defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was forced to intervene to save the company from collapse and prevent creditors from putting it into receivership, leading to a change in its board and management, as well as the new name 9mobile.

The crisis forced the telecoms company’s one-time parent, Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat Group, to terminate its management agreement with its Nigerian business and surrender its 45 per cent stake to a trustee, following the central bank’s intervention.

9mobile’s new CEO, Mr. Boye Olusanya, had said soon after his appointment that he was focused on getting the telecoms company back on track to make a profit, while working on the paperwork to eventually raise new capital, adding that the company was open to new investors.

The 13 banks had put a freeze on collecting the principal and interest payments on the syndicated $1.2 billion loan pending new investors, in order to help the company survive.

The Nigerian lenders with exposure to the telecoms firm had given Barclays the mandate to handle the sale of 9mobile, after Citigroup and Standard Bank, previously in the running for the role, were dropped..

9mobile has over 20 million subscribers with a 14 per cent share of the Nigerian market.

South Africa’s MTN is the market leader with 47 per cent, Globacom has 20 per cent while Airtel has 19 per cent.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

BUA, Kainos Exploration to Drag Each Other to Court Over $20 Million Scandal

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BUA Group on Monday threatened to drag Mr James Onyejekwe, the Managing Director of Kainos Exploration to court over a publication that claimed the Group was involved in a $20 million scandal.

BUA stated in a statement issued on Monday.

It stated that the publication engineered by Mr Onyejekwe was a “clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.”

BUA takes its reputation seriously and we will continue to do everything to protect it from anyone and any entity who obstructs our mandate to conduct business in a proper, legal and socially-responsible manner.

“BUA will, therefore, utilise its legal and human resources to resist every campaign of defamation and distraction,” the statement further said.

The leading cement manufacturing company said its independent investigation showed Mr. Onyejekwe was behind the false story that went viral online.

We have, therefore, instructed our legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the person of Mr James Onyejekwe who is the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Cavendish Petroleum against our person, with damages,” the statement seen by Investors King noted.

BUA explained that “We deem these actions necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of BUA Group.”

“We see no reason why Mr James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.

“Therefore, BUA finds it absurd that Mr Onyejekwe or anyone else will decide to drag BUA into their issues and/or put out such a malicious and defamatory statement, fraudulently using the name of Cavendish/Mr Mai Deribe without recourse to the truth, facts, decorum or decency,” it added.

BUA Group described the story bordering on allegations of corruption as “false, malicious and spurious.”

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Dangote Cement Emerges Best Performing Firm In Africa

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The Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA) has named the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, as the best performing company in Africa.

The award was presented to the company in Lokoja at the weekend by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, who represented the State Governor, Alhaji Yahyah Adoza Bello, at the Annual General Meeting(AGM) of KOCCIMA.

Speaking at the occasion, the President of KOCCIMA, Mr. Victor Ibrahim, said the Dangote Cement emerged through a thorough screening process that involved 20 companies.

He said: “Our screening committee considered many criteria before Dangote Cement Plc was selected”.

According to him, the Chamber put into consideration Dangote Cement’s contributions to the state’s economy through Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), as well as its good relationship with KOCCIMA.

Mr. Ibrahim said another criterion that placed the Dangote Cement in good stead is that the company has been environmentally friendly.

“We’ve visited DCP Obajana Plant and we found it complying with global best practices when it comes to the environment. Your parking lot does not constitute any environmental danger. We also considered returns to investors, the welfare of staff, the 43km Obajana-Kabba concrete road, your good relationship with the host community and your positive image”.

He announced that the Chamber of Commerce was planning to host its Trade Fair by year-end and looking forward to collaborating with the Dangote Cement Plc.

The Deputy Governor Mr. Edward Onoja expressed the appreciation of the Kogi State Government, saying the contributions of KOCCIMA and the private sector were crucial to the development of the state.

Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the event, representative of the Dangote Cement Plc Mr. Ademola Adeyemi said the company was elated and that the award will further spur it to continue its support to the state’s economy, KOCCIMA and Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.

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Appointments

MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation

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MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji, A Nigerian-American as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation

MTN Group has announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji, a Nigerian-American national as an executive to lead the strategy and transformation unit of the mobile network operator.

Chika has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT.

He will be leaving from McKinsey & Company, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.

His appointment with Africa’s leading mobile operator will be effective on, 15th of March. In his new role, he will be based in SA.

“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” says MTN Group chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.

To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, Ekeji joins a group of other recent appointees, including the new group chief financial officer, Tsholofelo Molefe.

In recent weeks, MTN also made changes to the group’s regional structure and the executive committee.

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