Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Sale of Nigeria's 9mobile in Turmoil

Article Image
The sale of Nigerian mobile operator 9mobile is turning into a circus and the main loser is the mobile operator itself.

Following a bidding process that was already delayed, two companies -- Teleology Holdings and Smile Telecoms-- were shortlisted as prospective buyers of the troubled mobile operator, with Teleology widely reported as the recommended bidder by Barclays Africa, which has managing the sale process. (See 9Mobile Bids: And Then There Were Two and Teleology in Driving Seat to Buy 9mobile.)

Late last month, Teleology was given the go-ahead to finalize the acquisition and given three weeks to pay a deposit of US$50 million.

Now, though, it seems Barclays Africa has confirmed a lack of "due process" and suggested that rules have been waived or changed mid-process by the board of 9mobile. In addition, sales purchase documentation that should have been signed on February 26 has, it seems, not yet been qualified. Check out this report by Vanguard for details of the Barclays correspondence.

Such shenanigans raise the prospect of legal challenges and further delays, all of which will only further damage 9mobile. The mobile operator has been losing customers and market share in a market that is growing and thriving and that is bad for its customers, its staff, its board and its new owner, should it ever get one. (See 9mobile Loses More Market Share as it Awaits New Owner and Lower Smartphone Prices Drive Nigeria's Mobile Penetration – Report.)

The 9mobile board, Barclays, Nigeria's government and the country's financial and communications regulators need to get this mess sorted out and complete the sale process so that 9mobile can operate once again as a proper business and an unrestrained competitor to the market leaders -- if they wait too long, 9mobile will not be an asset worth buying or owning.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub


SA startup Sendoff is digitizing funerals

South African startup Sendoff is a full-service funeral app that is digitizing the way funerals are organized.


SA's Homemation wants smart homes to be seamless

Through its Control4 operating system, South Africa's Homemation highlights that operating smart homes should be a seamless experience.

More Innovation hub

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.


Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up