There are indications that Barclays Bank has been saddled with the responsibility of finding investors for 9mobile based on the decision of Nigerian lenders.
Reuters reported on Thursday that sources in the bank revealed that Barclays had started work on the mandate and was in the process of setting up a database for prospective investors and conduct due diligence.
Although banking sources had previously said Citigroup and Standard Bank were in the running for the role, lenders decided against them due to their previous links with 9mobile, the sources said.
Standard’s local unit, Stanbic IBTC Bank, is among the group of lenders to 9mobile while Citi had advised the telecom company in the past, they said.
However, Barclays was not immediately available for comment.
9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, had secured a loan of $1.2bn in 2013 from a consortium of Nigerian banks to finance a major network rehabilitation project and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.
The consortium is made up of Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank, GTBank, First Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank, among others.
However, the lending banks threatened to take over the company since discussions on the debt restructuring of the $547m yielded no result.