Barclays Africa Bank examines take-over bids by five potential buyers for Nigeria’s heavily indebted 9mobile company, according to the Reuters news site. After study, the bank will make a recommendation to the telecommunication company.
Previously known as Etisalat Nigeria, 9mobile took out a syndicated loan of $ 1.2 billion from a group of 13 local banks in 2013, but struggled to repay last year, forcing its lenders to intervene.
The central bank then intervened to prevent the creditors from putting it in receivership, resulting in a change of board of directors and management, as well as the change of name of the company.
The crisis forced the parent company Etisalat to terminate its management agreement with the Nigerian company and to sell its 45% stake to a fiduciary after the intervention of the central bank.
Since his debt problems came to light, 9mobile, the country’s fourth-largest operator, has quickly lost subscribers. In October, its users were 17.1 million, representing a market share of 12.2%, against 20 million last year, said the telecommunications regulator.
The South African MTN group, market leader, holds 36.1% of the market in Nigeria.