Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga has made a bid to buy Ivorian mobile telecoms operator Comium Cote d’Ivoire.
According to Telegeography, Globacom, a Nigerian mobile telecoms operator owned by Adenuga, is lodging a $600 million takeover bid for Comium Cote d’Ivoire, a company that has been grappling with debt and cash flow problems.
If the deal goes through, Globacom will have succeeded in extending its brand presence in West Africa. Already, the mobile telecoms operator has operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. Globacom, which already owns an international carrier services licence in Cote d’Ivoire, reportedly plans to invest over $1 billion in upgrading Comium-CI’s network over three years.
Comium CI has more than 900,000 mobile subscribers according to L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications. It is a subsidiary of Comium Group, a Lebanon-based telecommunications company owned by Lebanese businessman Nizar Dalloul. The group operates as a multi-service provider on four continents, specializing in Wireless Data Networks, GSM communications, Internet service provision and VoIP. Comium CI is heavily enmeshed in debt to the tune of more than $25 million and has been given until 15 May to pay off its debts or risk being placed into receivership.
Mike Adenuga, 63, is the 2nd richest man in Nigeria with a fortune estimated at $4.7 billion according to FORBES’ World Billionaires ranking. He owes his fortune to his ownership of Nigerian mobile telecoms outfit Globacom, and Conoil Producing, a Nigerian oil exploration firm that operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta.