Wed August 3rd, 2011 – Business magnate Dr. Mike Adenuga has made overtures to the federal government to acquire the state-owned telecommunications company, NITEL and its mobile subsidiary, MTel, for $450 million under the willing buyer-willing seller basis to be undertaken by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, in a last ditch effort to sell the troubled telecom firm.
In the last 10 years, the BPE has made five unsuccessful attempts to privatise NITEL, the last of which was a 2009 tender when New Generation Limited and Omen International emerged the preferred and reserve bidders respectively but failed to pay for the enterprise despite repeated extensions granted both firms to do so.
The willing buyer-willing seller negotiated basis is a process that allows the BPE to receive tenders for an enterprise and hold negotiations on the terms and conditions of a sale with a prospective bidder or bidders until an agreement is reached that is suitable to both parties.
This will be Adenuga’s second attempt to acquire NITEL in less than three years. In 2008, Globacom tried to participate in the bid round for the company but was disqualified by BPE after it was advised by the Nigerian Communications Commission that none of the major telecom operators could bid for NITEL as a whole.
This will be the second time that the Globacom boss is attempting to purchase NITEL.