Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Nigeria Probes Nitel Bidders
The government began seeking a buyer for a minimum 75% of NITEL and 100% of its mobile unit M-Tel in July 2009 after previous majority shareholder Transcorp divested its stake earlier in the year. After much delay, financial bids opened on 16 February 2010, but only six of the 14 pre-qualified consortia met the 5 February deadline for the submission of technical and financial proposals: Brymedia; AF21/Spectrum consortium; MTN Nigeria; Globacom Nigeria; Omen International; and New Generation Telecommunications. After announcing New Generation as the preferred buyer, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) revealed that the company was backed by China Unicom, a claim that was quickly denied by the Chinese company, which insisted that its involvement only extended to an interest in offering technical and managerial support.