Dubai’s Minerva gets nod to buy Nitel

13 Oct 2010

(MENAFN) The Nigerian government has approved the sale of the state telecommunications company to Dubai�s Minerva Group and its partners, eight months after they bid $2.5 billion for the company at an auction, Reuters reported.

The group will pay an initial $750 million, followed by the remaining $1.75 billion within 60 days, the Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises said in a statement. The government will sell a bond to pay outstanding wages owed to Nitel�s workers, the bureau said.

New Generation Telecom Ltd., consisting of China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., Minerva Group of Dubai and Nigeria�s GiCell Wireless Ltd., won the bidding for 75 percent of Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd., or Nitel, on Feb. 16.

President Goodluck Jonathan suspended the transaction on March 12 and
told a committee including senior ministers to conduct further due diligence on the bidders.

The presidential panel found out that the transaction complied strictly with due process as outlined in the BPE�s procedures manual and that necessary approvals were obtained, the statement said.

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