The list of interested investors in the troubled telecoms operator, 9mobile is reducing by bits.

One of the major players in the industry, which was one of the contenders for the acquisition of the company, Airtel has now said it sees little value in proceeding with the bid.

As a result, Airtel has withdrawn from submitting a firm bid before the deadline, according to two industry sources with knowledge of the deal.

Recall that Barclays Africa is examining takeover bids from prospective buyers for 9mobile. However, a deal may take a few months as it will involve restructuring 9mobile’s debt after a default last year.

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Airtel had expressed an interest to acquire the Nigerian firm as part of plans to consolidate its position in Africa’s biggest telecoms market, but it declined to submit a financial bid before a January 16 deadline.

“Airtel is not interested in 9mobile because it sees little value in the company,” one source told Reuters.

Another source said the Indian company did not have sufficient information to make an informed bid but added that privately-held Nigerian telecoms firm Globacom had submitted a financial bid.

Previously known as Etisalat Nigeria, 9mobile took out a $1.2 billion syndicated loan from a group of 13 local banks in 2013 but struggled to make repayments last year, forcing its lenders to step in.

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