Airtel Opts Out Of 9mobile Buy Bid

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By; PETER NOSAKHARE, Kaduna
Bharti Airtel India’s largest telecoms operator has given reasons why it is not interested in buying indebted Nigerian rival 9mobile and why it withdrew from submitting a firm bid before deadline, industry sources with knowledge of the deal told journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.
Barclays Africa is examining takeover bids from prospective buyers of 9mobile. However, a deal may take a few months as it will involve restructuring 9mobile’s debt after a reported default last year.
Airtel had shown interest in acquiring the Nigerian firm as part of plans to consolidate its position in Africa’s biggest telecoms market, but, declined to submit a financial bid before January 16, deadline.
“Airtel is not interested in 9mobile because it sees little value in the company”, one source said.
Another source said the Indian company did not have sufficient information to make an informed bid but added that privately-held Nigerian telecoms giant Globacom had submitted a financial bid. No one at Bharti Airtel in India or Nigeria was available to make comment.
Bharti Airtel, headed by India billionaire Sunil Mittal, last year reported a 30.8 percent fall in the first quarter net profit, blaming an adverse foreign exchange impact in Nigeria.

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