BSNL may submit financial bid for Zambia Telecom

BSNL may submit financial bid for Zambia Telecom

New Delhi: State-run BSNL is likely to submit financial bid for a majority stake in Zambia’s leading telecom company, Zambia Telecommunications Ltd (Zamtel).

“We are doing due diligence at the moment after qualifying in the first round. I think there is great possibility that we will put up the financial bid for Zamtel based on our estimation emerging out of the current due diligence process," BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal said.

Yesterday, chairman and managing director of MTNL — the other PSU which has also been shortlisted for the second-round of bidding process — R S P Sinha said the company is interested in Zamtel.

The Zambian government is offering between 51% and 75% of its stake in Zamtel.

The process is likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2010.

South Africa’s Telkom, Africa’s biggest fixed-line operator, which is sitting on about 10 billion rand ($1.35 billion) after selling its mobile unit Vodacom to Britain’s Vodafone, is on the shortlist.

The prequalified companies and consortia have been invited to participate in the due diligence process that has started from 2 November and will continue till 23 December.

Others on the shortlist are a consortium of Russia’s second-biggest mobile phone operator Vimpelcom and Altimo, the telecom arm of Russia’s Alfa Group; a consortium of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom and its subsidiary Telecel Globe; Angola’s UNITEL — a consortium of Unitel S A and Angola Cables S A; Portugal Telecom; and a consortium of Libya’s LAP Greencom and LAP Green Networks.

Zamtel’s revenue for the year to end-December was $100 million. It is Zambia’s only licenced fixed-line provider of voice and data communications.