By FEMI SALAWU
Billionaire owner of Nigerian telecommunication giant, Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga looks set to extend his business interest in Cote d’Ivoire with an audacious $600 million take over of Comium Cote d’Ivoire.
The Ivorian telecommunication company has been grappling with debt and cash flow problems to the tune of $25 million.
At the moment, Globacom has operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. Telegeopgraphy reported that 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.
A subsidiary of Comium Group, a Lebanon-based telecommunications company owned by Lebanese businessman Nizar Dalloul, Comium CI has more than 900,000 mobile subscribers according to L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications.
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 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 six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.