Winning bidder for erstwhile national telecoms carrier in Nigeria, NATCOMS, has fulfilled roughly a third of payments towards the full purchase of NITEL/MTel’s assets.
Winning bidder for the assets of Nigeria’s formerly state-owned national telecoms carrier, NITEL/MTel, has fulfilled a third of the payments towards fully acquiring the assets and business operations of the latterly defunct carrier. The winner of the bid, NATCOMS Consortium, has fulfilled payments amounting to $75,756,300 of the winning bid price of $252,521,000 which equals 30% of the total amount.
The payment was in line with stipulated procedure agreed to in the Offer Letter (OL) during the bid which required that the winner of the bid would within 14 days of service of the letter fulfill 30% of total payment obligations. The country’s regulatory agency for privatization of government assets, the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) is mandated with the duty of ensuring full compliance with the law and the terms of the bid. It said that NATCOMS’ success with the 30% obligation would allow them progress to the next step of providing the balance of 70% within 90 days of fulfilling the initial 30% obligation.
Speaking on behalf of the BPE, its Head of Public Communications, Mr Anichebe Chigbo, explained that it was now imperative for NATCOMS to work toward meeting the expectation of full payment within 90 days. He added that creditors would need to be given notice that payments would only be deliberated upon the receipt of full payments from NATCOMS. The BPE official also spoke about the guided liquidation strategy chosen by the National Council on Privatization (NCP) for the sale of NITEL/MTel which stirred up some controversy including a lawsuit from one of the other unsuccessful bidders.
He expatiated that the guided liquation approach designed by the NCP allowed the assets of NITEL/MTel to be bundled and sold as single or multiple units to a preferred bidder while averting the usual asset stripping associated with guided liquidation. The preferred bidder was required to make a commitment to run the assets of NITEL/MTel to continue provision of telecoms services.