• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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New Ntel CEO seeks $550m to turnaround company’s fortune

New Ntel CEO seeks $550m to turnaround company’s fortune

Ntel has announced that it will raise $550 million from investors following the appointment of Adrian Woods, former Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria.

According to the firm, Woods, whose appointment took effect in January, is on board to lead the company in its restructuring and rebranding bid through the raise. This revelation was made in a letter to the company’s staff.

Speaking on the moves he has been making since he assumed the CEO position in January this year, Woods, in the letter to the company’s staff, said, “On 21st May, I visited Aminu Maida, CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission. We had a very productive session about the forward plan for NatCom, our role in industry building, as well as the prospects for raising equity and debt capital to fund a complete new 4G/5G network design and rollout nationwide.

“In the background, I have been engaging with potential institutional investors. When the new financial business plan and offering document are ready soon, there will be a roadshow to raise $500 million to $550 million, to restructure, rebuild and develop NatCom.”

Ntel, an offshoot of the government-owned NITEL acquired by NATCOM Development and Investment Limited (NatCom), launched in 2016. However, its fortune has declined over the years. Woods noted that he met with African Capital Alliance, one of Nigeria’s premier private equity fund groups, which had invested in MTN alongside other investors.

“Already, together with CIO Anthony Adegbola, one New York investment fund visited some of our Lagos facilities. With the visitor, I also had a positive meeting with the African Capital Alliance, one of Nigeria’s (and Africa’s) premier private equity funds groups. ACA was an early-stage investor in MTN Nigeria. They told us it remains their investment with the best returns, ever,” he told the staff in the letter.

He added that he will be meeting three other potential institutional investors. Woods explained that the investors on target are Africa-focused, have investments in Nigeria in different segments, have offices in Nigeria, and are seeking digital infrastructure projects to support with funding.

He noted, however, that it would take months of negotiations to secure large capital commitments in several stages. Before the arrival of new investments, he said the company would leverage a facility from AMCON, a 55 percent NatCom shareholder, to see it through the crucial project management office planning phase, new capital formation, and network rollout before relaunching the business.