Nigeria’s Federal Government Picks BNP Paribas As Advisers for Nitel Privatisation

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

As the December deadline for the race to pick a new core investor for Nitel draws near, the Federal Government has picked BNP Paribas as its adviser on the deal.

The Federal Government through its Minister of State for Communications, Alhaji Dasuki Nakande, announced that BNP Paribas won the bid to advise government on the plan to secure a core investor for Nitel. Nakande who made the announcement after the National Council on Privatisation meeting yesterday in Abuja stated that the BNP Paribas, would be expected to review, evaluate and market NITEL.

Fifteen consortia had applied to the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to be engaged as privatisation advisors for the sale of 51per cent equity in Nitel.

The firms are: Lazard/Vetiva, Rothschild/UBA, Renaissance Capital, Millennium Finance, Awoyinfa Obafunsho & Co, CPCS Transcom, Lead Capital/Investec, FCMB/ Morgan Stanley, International/HSBC, Merrill Lynch/BGL and BNP Paribas.

BNP Paribas would also be expected to review the operations of Nitel and prepare the Information Memorandum. It would also prepare valuation reports that will give an indicative base price for Nitel as well as prepare draft contract documents and all other transaction documents required for competitive and transparent bidding process.

He also emphasized that the consortium would also be expected to market Nitel to prospective investors and assemble all documents that would be required in hosting data room.

As advisors on the privatization process, Paribas would also evaluate the technical proposals submitted by prospective core investors and advise the NCP accordingly and prepare a comprehensive post-transaction report for the NCP."

It will be recalled that BNP Paribas was the same firm that acted as consultant on the sale of Nitel to Pentascope in 2003. It also valued Nitel for sale to Transcorp.

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