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9mobile: Barclays has not resigned as financial advisor

The management of 9mobile has stated that Barclays Bank has not withdrawn as financial advisor of the 9mobile investment process.

According to a statement released on its website, the company said the bank is committed to a speedy conclusion of the process.

“Following recent press reports relating to Barclays Africa’s role as financial advisor on the sale of 9Mobile, the board of directors of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services (trading as 9Mobile) wishes to clearly state that these reports are inaccurate,” the statement read.

“This is not surprising, having come from so-called ‘sources’ without authoritative knowledge of the process.

“The board has full faith and confidence in the fairness and transparency of the process.

“Contrary to media speculation, Barclays Africa has also not resigned its mandate in the transaction and remains committed to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion of the process, for the avoidance of doubt,” the statement said.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had expressed concerns at how the bank was handling the process.

“Given the overriding public interest in the company and the need for transparency, we advised that Barclays advertise the call for ‘expression of interest’. Barclays declined, insisting instead that the company being a private one, should not be taken through a public sale.

“This lack of a transparent process has proven to be selective and arbitrary, leading to allegations that the process is being teleguided to a rigged and predetermined outcome. The CBN and the NCC will not fold their arms and allow this to materialise.”

Etisalat, Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile network with more than 20 million subscribers, became 9mobile after a consortium of banks took over the company for defaulting on a loan payment.

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