Teleology Clarifies on $50m Cash Deposit, Restates Commitment

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Emma Okonji

Teleology Holdings Limited has come out bold to clarify doubts expressed over its payment of the $50 million non-refundable cash deposit for the acquisition of 9mobile.

Reacting to information making the rounds that members of the House of Reps might be compelled to stop the sale of 9mobile to Teleology because the said cash deposit could not be traced to any bank account, Teleology Holdings Limited insisted that the money had since been paid and confirmation of receipt of payment has also been sent out to the appropriate quarters.

Adrian Wood who is tipped to become the next CEO of 9mobile after Teleology Holdings must have concluded all payments pertaining the acquisition of 9mobile, told THISDAY in a telephone conversation that Teleology has successfully crossed the first huddle of payment of the $50 million non-refundable cash deposit and had since put that challenge behind it, while looking forward to paying the actual bid money for 9mobile, for which it has been given 90 days to complete.

I am rather committed to restructure 9mobile and drive it to profitability without any form of distraction, Wood said.

To clarify all doubts concerning the payment of the $50 million cash deposit, a confirmation document for the payment of the said amount was released to THIDAY, which clearly stated that the $50 million cash deposit was received on March 21, 2018.

The document, with reference number UCT/TB/CO265/2018, which was signed by the Managing Director of United Capital Trustees, Mr. Tokunbo Ajayi and the Head of its Legal Services, Mr. Tadeni Balogun, read in part: We write to confirm receipt of the sum of $50 million into our United Capital Trustees Ltd/EMTS Enforcement Proceeds account from Teleology Nigeria Limited, being payment of the non-refundable deposit as the preferred bidder for Project Nexus transaction.

THISDAY gathered that the terms of condition for the transaction leading to the sale of 9mobile is that all monies pertaining to the sale of 9mobile will be paid to United Capital Trustees, who is the receiver-manager appointed by the consortium of the 13 local banks that offered the $1.2 billion loan to the former Etisalat Nigeria. At the end of the transaction, Barclays Africa, the financial adviser handling the sale of 9mobile, will then inform the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the conclusion of the transaction, to enable NCC begin the process for the transfer of 9mobile licence to Teleology, after a formal application must have been transmitted from Teleology to NCC, asking for such transfer of licence.

Before the crisis that hit Etisalat Nigeria, which compelled it to have a new brand identity called 9mobile, its shareholding arrangement was such that Emirate Telecommunications Group of United Arab Emirates (UAE), had 45 per cent shareholding in the former Etisalat Nigeria; Mubadala Development Company of UAE had 40 per cent shareholding, while Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS) owned by a Nigerian, Bello Osagie, had 15 per cent shareholding.

At the peak of the Etisalat crisis, Mubadala Development Company and Emirate Telecommunications Group, both from UAE, pulled out of the shareholding arrangement. But at the time of leaving, Emirate Telecommunications Group transferred its 45 per cent stake in the former Etisalat Nigeria, and 25 per cent of its preference shares, to United Capital Trustees, the receiver-manager and the legal representative of the 13 local banks. Since then, United Capital Trustees has been managing 9mobile and has the authority to receive payment for the sale of 9mobile.