The liquidator of fixed line incumbent Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) has invited companies interested in purchasing the assets of the ailing telco to submit bids by 4pm on 30 June, Reuters reports. The liquidator, appointed by the government’s National Council of Privatisation (NCP), said in an advert that it is seeking bidders with five years of telecom experience and a net worth of at least USD200 million. The assets would be handed over to the preferred bidder in December. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that a number of recent attempts to privatise NITEL and its mobile unit M-Tel have been unsuccessful. In 2010 the preferred buyer of the telco New Generation Telecommunications failed to meet a number of deadlines to pay its USD2.5 billion offer, while the reserve bidder Omen International also failed to come up with the USD956 million it offered for the company. In March 2012 the government approved the adoption of a ‘guided liquidation’ strategy for NITEL and M-Tel, with Olutola Senbore appointed as liquidator in July 2013. The NCP said the process will protect the government from future claims and liabilities, as proceeds of the sale may be less than the value of the debt. NITEL is reported to owe creditors around NGN400 billion (USD2.4 billion).
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