Is Etisalat still interested in Nigeria's Nitel?
Earlier this week, it appeared that Etisalat was one of the operators in the running to buy a stake in Nigeria's state-owned telecommunications company, Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (Nitel).
But now, according to a report in the Nigerian newspaper BusinessDay, the involvement of the UAE's largest telecommunications company may not be happening after all.
The newspaper is claiming that there is a number of operators involved in the bidding for Nitel that may be opting to leave the sale process since the government has not been as transparent as once hoped.
"How do you describe the entrance of a new bidder to a transaction that has almost drawn to a close...I would not be surprised if this is one of the reasons why Etisalat pulled out because its representatives did not attend the pre-bid conference last week", the newspaper quoted one unnamed source who was close to the bidding companies.
Adding to the bidders' frustration is the claim that Nitel is refusing to led anyone inspect their facilities and that there appears to not be any audited account of the company's financials, the newspaper said.
As the newspaper succinctly puts it: "This, bidders told BusinessDay, will likely affect participation because they have no information about what they are buying."
We've put in a call to Etisalat to get some sort of update in their Nigerian plans and will update this story in the coming days.
Published: January 18, 2010 04:00 AM