Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has received Expressions of Interest (EOIs) applications from MTN and Etisalat Nigeria for at least 75 per cent equity in Nigeria’s NITEL.
According to a report in This Day Nigeria, other companies that have made their intentions known, include Gloabacom, Omen International Limited (BVI), Summit Group, MTI Consortium, Finetek.Com, Ericsson Consortium and MTNL Limited, India. Others are Anas Network Services Limited, Telefonica Consort-ium, Metro PCS Communi-cations Inc, Brymedia (W.A) Limited and Galaxy Backbone Plc.
The applications were received before the close of the deadline given for companies interested in the sale, the statement said.
The BPE has already constituted an evaluation committee with the mandate to independently assess each of the submissions.
It said, “The consortia that are pre-qualified for the next stage are expected to pay a non-refundable fee of $25, 000 for bidding documents and execute the confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement.
Nigerian Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan had last week inaugurated a new interim board of directors to run the affairs of NITEL. The board received an order from President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to complete the processes of the appointment of another core investor for the company within a period of 60 days.
The board was put in place by the Federal Government to carry out the day-to-day running of the moribund telecommunications company pending the appointment of another core investor.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed in a statement that preference would be given to bidders who desire to acquire NITEL’s fixed lines, transmission backbone, MTEL and SAT-3 components together.
Attempts to sell NITEL had in the past proved difficult. In 2001, Investors International London Limited (IILL) made an attempt to acquire the company but defaulted in paying the bid price of $1.317 billion.
Orascom also attempted to acquire NITEL with $256.5 million some years later but failed. Consequently, Pentascope of Netherlands was appointed to revamp the company. That failed too until Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) successfully raised $500 million for a take over. However following the successful bid of Transcorp, the ailing entity could not be revived, prompting the Federal Government to revoke the sale of NITEL to Transcorp.