The preferred bidder for the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NATCOM Consortium, has paid $176,575,700 (N29,696,469,600) for the acquisition of the company and its mobile subsidiary, the Bureau of Public Enterprises has said.

The payment represents the outstanding 70 per cent of the $252,521,000 bid price for the acquisition of the assets and business units of NITEL and the Nigerian Mobile Communications Limited.

A statement issued by Head of Public Communications, BPE, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, stated that NATCOM paid the 70 per cent balance on Thursday, April 2; four days ahead of the April 7 deadline.

NATCOM had on January 6 paid $75,756,300 (N12,727,058,400), being 30 per cent of the bid price, in line with the offer letter by the BPE, which mandated it to make an initial deposit of 30 per cent of the bid price not later than 14 days from the date on the offer letter.

The National Council on Privatisation had at its meeting of February 27, 2012, approved the privatisation of NITEL and M-Tel through the “guided liquidation” approach.

The strategy was adopted by the council after due consideration of other options and in the light of the previous failed attempts to privatise the firms through the strategic core investor sale and negotiated sale strategies, and the huge liabilities to creditors to the tune of over N300bn.

Under the guided liquidation strategy, all the core assets and business undertakings of NITEL and M-Tel were to be sold to a qualified bidder by the liquidator under the general guidance of the NPC.


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