Out of the last five shortlisted investors to acquire the embattled 9mobile Telecoms, a discernible trend has emerged from the camp of the two finalists; Smile Telecoms Holdings and Teleology Holdings Limited.
Though 16 bidders had indicated interest in acquiring the mobile network, only five were shortlisted before the number was reduced to three and now, final list has reduced to two.
While Globacom and Helios failed to back their technical bids with concrete financial bids, Airtel later pulled out of the process, leaving just Smile Telecoms Holdings and Teleology Holdings Limited.
The most surprising part is that on either side are former CEOs of MTN Nigeria leading the charge. Smile Telecoms Holdings has one of its leaders Ahmad Farroukh and Teleology Holdings Limited is led by Adrian Wood. Adrian Wood was the second Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria. He served for almost two years only. Thereafter he was named Group Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria. He is currently the CEO of Brymedia West Africa Limited.
Ahmad Farroukh, on the other hand, joined MTN as Chief Executive Officer after 18 months from Wood departure, is currently the Group Executive Director in charge of Operations at Smile Telecoms Holdings. Given the preeminent role of Smile Nigeria towards the realization of the Federal Government’s quest for enhanced broadband penetration, Ahmad spends most of his executive time in Nigeria and will be central to Smile’s quest to acquire 9Mobile.
Smile Telecom Holding and Teleology Holdings Limited final fight will decide the best match for the bride 9mobile.