SA'S TELKOM MOVES TO GRAB 51% STAKE IN NITEL
South Africa’s dominant telecoms services provider Telkom SA is looking to acquire a 51% stake in beleaguered PTO, Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL). Telkom emerged as a possible contender in the race to acquire control of NITEL after the Nigerian government annulled the management contract it signed with Pentascope of the Netherlands over alleged incompetence leading to its failure to achieve pre-agreed goals.
The Dutch company signed the contract in March 2003 following an aborted attempt to privatise NITEL in April the previous year. That sale failed after the preferred bidder, International London Limited, failed to pay the USD1.11 billion asking price. The state’s latest attempt to offload shares in the telco will also include the flotation of a 20% stake to the general public.
Facing competition at home, Telkom has an ambitious strategy to become a regional carrier through purchasing failing in incumbents across the continent. Countries mentioned so far include: Angola, DRC and Kenya.