Nigeria Makes Another Attempt At Selling State-Owned Networks

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Nigeria's National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has formally appointed a liquidator to sell the assets held by the state owned landline network, Nitel and its MTel mobile network subsidiary.

The company has been essentially bankrupt for several years, and attempts at privatising it have repeatedly broken down.

Eight companies tendered to handle the liquidation of the company, and the contract was awarded to Lagos based accountants, Olutola Senbore & Co. They have been given six months to handle the sale.

It is expected that the two companies will be sold as going concerns, although it is expected that the mobile network would be sold for its assets, while the landline network may be picked up by one of the mobile networks in order to boost their backhaul capacity.

The sale is not expected to realise enough to pay off the state-owned firms debt, which is said to be around US$2.2 billion. The two privatised companies will be sold on a debt-free basis, with creditors being expected to absorb most of the losses.