NIGERIAN NTERCELLULAR APPROVES US$137.5 MILLION DEAL
Shareholders of Intercellular Nigeria PLC. (INP), a pioneer wholly Nigerian-owned private operator has approved the offer of US$137.5 Million investment deal from South African telecom operator, GVT/Telecel.
At the meeting which was held in Abuja last weekend, the shareholders approved an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Board of Intercellular with Global Vision Telecom (GVT), a company that has major telecom interests in Africa. GVT is managed by its associate company, Telecel International (Pty) Limited. It envisages injecting additional investment to the tune of about US$137.5million into Intercellular Nigeria.
GV Telecom, a brainchild of Telecel founder Miko Rwayitare, is a privately owned telecommunications company which designs, installs, operates and manages cellular and satellite communications networks in sub-Saharan Africa. Miko Rwayitare is heralded as one of the fathers of mobile telephony in Africa, having pioneered the first mobile call on the African continent on a Telecel network in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1986. He went to successfully develop and operate 14 Telecel networks in Africa; these operations included DRC, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Gabon, Togo, Niger Republic, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Central African Republic and Burundi. The Telecel operations were eventually sold in 2000 to Orascom for almost half billion U.S. Dollars.
A statement by the Communications Director of the Company, Fidel Otuya quoted the President/CEO of Intercellular, Mr. Bashir Ahmad el-Rufai as saying he was optimistic that the Intercellular-Telecel deal, although long in coming, would provide Intercellular with the necessary financial muscle to compete in a market that is fast slipping from the grip of the small boys.
Intercellular is one of the first generation of fixed wireless operators in Nigeria. It has coverage in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and Maiduguri.