Teleology Holdings Limited, the preferred bidder for Nigeria’s fourth largest telecom firm, 9mobile, has made a non-refundable deposit of $50 million to the Trustee for the Nigerian bank syndicate currently running the company.
In a statement on Thursday, the management of Teleology Holdings said it was putting finishing touches on its acquisition of 9mobile (formerly Etisalat) ahead of the March 22 deadline set by the financial advisers.
In the last few days, the company said, key executives of the organisation had been deep in meetings with the Nigerian bank syndicate, the regulatory authorities, and advisors. These meetings, it added, had culminated in the signing of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) and other contractual documents pertaining to the acquisition.
Adrian Wood, Teleology’s Director, said the $50 million payment underscores the firm’s financial capability and readiness to revive the organisation.
“9mobile is transiting into a new phase that will be defined by optimal value delivery: value to our employees, value to our customers, value to local communities and indeed to all stakeholders,” said Mr. Wood, who was the pioneer Managing Director of MTN Nigeria.
He added that the new organisation to emerge would be “engineering led and brand driven.” In delivering service, “we will strive to ensure that 9Mobile operations deliver fulfillment to our customers, empowerment to local communities, protection to the vulnerable, and excellent rewards not only to our shareholders but to all stakeholders.”
Mr. Wood said Teleology has set out a 10-point plan that aggregates its mission and how it intends to turn the 9mobile organization around.
According to him, it plans to double the 9mobile network with new 3G/4G specific cell sites as well as several thousands of kilometers of fibre optic cable across the country. It will also drive a special program of rural internet coverage, focusing on 4G with broadband access planned for all of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas.
Youth engagement and employment programs are also planned with all build contractors, distributors and consultants, he said, while investment in broadband internet access technologies which are completely new to Nigeria are also planned. Very importantly, he added, the 9mobile network will be optimized for high speed and high capacity data including imaging, video, games, music, IPTV and more.
“Any 3-point plan or 3-dimension idea is naïve and completely missing the scope and complexity of the urgent Nigerian need to be brought into the 21st-century broadband era,” Mr. Wood said.
Teleology, he added, envisages an increase of 50% in direct employment in the new 9mobile. There is also an active plan to introduce within the first year, several million 4G-capable premium quality smartphones, at exceedingly affordable pricing.