Teleology, led by former MTN Nigeria CEO, exits 9mobile

A man passes an MTN board in Lagos, Nigeria. Picture: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP

A man passes an MTN board in Lagos, Nigeria. Picture: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP

Lagos — Teleology Holding, a company led by former MTN Group executive Adrian Wood, has pulled out of Nigeria’s 9mobile just weeks after its $301m takeover of the firm with a group of local investors, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Teleology’s departure comes after disagreements with Nigerian shareholders, the sources said on condition of anonymity. They gave no further details. On Thursday, 9mobile confirmed the departure of Teleology, which had held a minority stake, but did not provide a reason.

Teleology and Wood were not available for comment.

9mobile, formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, is the country’s fourth-biggest telecoms operator and was operated by Abu Dhabi-based telecoms firm Etisalat until the local company defaulted on its debt, forcing lenders to step in to find new investors.

“We unequivocally assure our customers, suppliers, partners, regulators, and stakeholders that the board is committed to continuing the upward mobility of [the company],” 9mobile said in a statement.

Wood is the former CEO of MTN Group’s Nigeria business.

Competition in Nigeria’s mobile telecoms market is intense as the biggest operator, MTN, expands its service through partnerships with banks.

Said the company, “9mobile has emerged from a period of uncertainty over the past two years to attain an active subscriber base of 16-million, representing a net increase of more than 1-million subscribers in the last six weeks alone,”

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