NIGERIAN GOVT GETS READY TO SELL 20% OF NITEL, RECEIVES OFFER FOR 51%

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  The Federal Government has concluded plans to float its 20 per cent equity in Nigerian Telecommunication Limited ( NITEL ) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Also the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has finalised arrangements to launch the N10 billion Privatization Share Purchase Loan Scheme (PSPLS) following the successful signing of the agreement between it and the management contractor to restructure the outfit.

Under the scheme a loan of N10,000 .00 would be made available to individual beneficiaries to enable them purchase shares in the privatized companies. The beneficiaries are expected to pay back the loan instalmentally over a period to be determined by the participating banks.

Even as Pentascope and the Nigerian government signed a contract management agreement for Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) last week, a Singaporean telecommunications company has re-opened a $1.01 billion bid for 51 percent controlling equity stake in NITEL. How this latest bid will affect the Pentascope agreement is unclear but media reports indicate that only the request by the Ministry of Finance for a sovereign guarantee is what is stalling the deal from the Asian firm.

Since the botched attempt by Investors International (London) Limited to secure the 51 percent equity stake in NITEL, the Burean For Public Enterprises (BFE) has discretly been shopping for fresh bidders for the national carrier. Although several firms reportedly indicated interest, the BPE has been cautions, insisting on doing business with only companies who can put the money on the table.

The Vanguard