Of the four companies left in the running to acquire a stake in Zambian fixed line incumbent Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) only three have submitted final binding bids, with Indian state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) dropping out of the process after conducting due diligence. According to Reuters, the withdrawal of BSNL leaves Libya’s LAP Green Networks, Unitel of Angola and Russian telecoms investment firm Altimo chasing the up to 75% stake that the Zambian government plans to offer in the operator. Commenting on the development, Henry Sakala, the privatisation manager at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), said: ‘These bids will be subjected to an evaluation by the ZDA and after the evaluation they will be presented to the ZDA board who are going to make a decision as to which ones to shortlist for negotiations.’ In addition Sakala noted that the ZDA board would appoint an independent team to undertake the negotiations with the successful bidder(s).
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