NITEL and MTEL now have new owners, NATCOM Telecommunications, which paid $242.3 million (about N42.4 billion) to acquire the predominantly government owned enterprise. The deal sealed, Wednesday, was pulled by a consortium managed by banker and Chairman, Skye Bank Olatunde Ayeni, Sahara Energy founder, Tonye Cole, and two other business concerns. NATCOM had initially offered to pay $221 million for the acquisition, but was described as a far cry from the reserve price and rejected by NCP Technical Committee Vice Chairman, Haruna Sambo, who represented its Chairman, Atedo Peterside. The acquirer decided to resize their bid, which received the NCP’s nod, and subject to the council’s final approval. NATCOM beat a rival bidder, NETTANG , to nick the deal after the latter failed to submit the mandatory bank guarantee bid bond of $10 million and a technical proposal. Aside the earlier mentioned acquiring companies, NATCOM has five other members, namely NATSPACE Telecommunication Investment Limited, PCCW Global Limited, Prime Union Investment Limited, Olutoyi Estate Development & Services Limited, Legal Resources Alliance & Co. and LM Ericsson Nigeria Limited.
Of the seven members of the consortium, online newspapers, PREMIUM TIMES, reported three of them are owned by Olatunde Ayeni. The three are Prime Union Investment Limited, Olutoyi Estate Development & Services Limited, and Legal Resources Alliance & Co.
NATCOM is required to pay N42.4 billion to the government to enable own the sale.
Although, the sale of NITEL has been beset by four failed attempts, it is yet to be unknown if NATCOM offer represents the true worth of the moribund enterprise.