It is no longer news that many investors are bidding to buy trouble telecoms company, 9mobile.

Well, fresh reports say the deal may be over in a few months as Barclays Africa, which was appointed to find new buyers said it is examining takeover bids from 5 prospective buyers.

Two banking sources confided in Reuters that a deal is near but may take a few months as it will involve restructuring the company’s debt after a default last year.

“This is not a simple bid. Where there’s a restructuring ... investors would state conditions, and negotiate what haircut (losses) if any, in respect to trade and financial creditors,” one of the sources said.

Also Read: Telecom Operators Lost 14.3 Million Subscribers In 10 Months

“Time to complete the deal will depend on how quickly advisers analyse the bids and make recommendations to 9mobile,” he said.

“There was screening of a large number of bidders which was narrowed down to five. They were given access to the management and site visits,” the second source said, without naming the bidders.

Since its debt problems came to light, 9mobile, the country’s fourth-biggest operator, has rapidly lost subscribers.

In October, its users numbered 17.1 million, giving it a 12.2% market share, down from 20 million earlier last year, the telecoms regulator said.

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