Nigeria seeks new owner for NITEL

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By NWAKAEGO ALAJEMBA
nitel

Nigeria’s government is contemplating selling off moribund state-owned telco NITEL to Brymedia owing to the failure of the preferred winner of the privatization bid, New Generation Consortium, to pay the bid sum of $750 million.

Brymedia, the third place bid winner said it would be paying $600m for a 75 per cent stake of NITEL and its mobile arm M- TEL.

Inside sources claimed a confused Nigerian government has been rendered desperate to sell off the telco owing to the inability of New Generation Consortium to pay the $750 million, the 30% bid bond required before NITEL private ownership could be legally firmed up.

New Generation, which became the preferred bidder in the February 2010 privatization auction, has failed to meet its payment obligations despite an extension from December 23 to late January.

Claims by New Generation that it had secured fund from its financiers to pay the $750 million have not fulfilled according to sources at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigeria’s privatization midwife forcing government to open talks with Brymedia.

Brymedia is led by former MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Wood and other ex senior management staff of MTN Nigeria. They include ex Chief Technical Officer Demola Elesho and its first Chief Marketing Officer Afam Edozien. The consortium also have former CEO of NITEL, Edwin Momife.

The New Generation Consortium has China Unicom of Hong Kong, Minerva Group of Dubai and Nigeria ‘s GiCell Wireless Ltd. Omen International emerged as the reserved bidder with a bid of $956Million while Brymedia came third at the bid.

 


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