Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is likely to announce the preferred liquidator for ailing fixed line incumbent Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile arm M-Tel by July, local newspaper Daily Trust cites an official at the privatisation agency as saying. In February five prospective liquidators submitted expressions of interest (EOIs) for evaluation, in a process that is expected to be concluded by the BPE in the next three weeks. The chosen liquidator will then be announced shortly after the evaluated EOIs have been ratified by a court of law. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the federal government approved the adoption of a guided liquidation strategy for NITEL and M-Tel in March last year, following a series of failed attempts at selling the indebted state-owned telco. In June 2011 the latest attempt to privatise the firm was cancelled when the reserve bidder, British Virgin Islands-based Omen International, failed to meet the deadline to pay its USD105 million bid security. Omen was invited to re-register its interest in buying NITEL in March 2011, as preferred buyer New Generation Telecommunications repeatedly missed the payment deadlines for its bid of USD2.5 billion. Omen offered USD956.9 million during the latest attempt to privatise the company, held in February 2010. The government began seeking a buyer for a minimum 75% of NITEL and 100% of M-Tel in July 2009 after previous majority shareholder Transcorp divested its stake earlier in the year.
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