Source reveals prequalified bidders for ZAMTEL

The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) is today scheduled to announce the shortlisted bidders to buy shares in Zamtel.
But a source has revealed to Reuters news agency beforehand that there are eight suitors remaining in the hunt to buy Zamtel.

The Zambian government is offering betwenn 51-75 percent of its stake in Zamtel to suitors based on their own evaluation of the business and the market opportunity, said a source familiar with the transaction.
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The Zambian Development Agency (ZDA), which are handling the sale, had received expression of interest from more than 30 suitors.

A source told Reuters that ZDA has shorlisted prequalified bidders to eight including Telkom, Africa’s biggest fixed-line operator which is seeking growth opportunities in Africa after selling its mobile unit Vodacom to British Vodafone ( VOD – news – people ).

Other shortlisted bidders include Indian state-run telecom Mahanagar Telephone Nigam ( MTE – news – people ) (MTNL), Indian state-run telecom group Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, and a consortium of Russia’s second-biggest mobile phone operator Vimpelcom and Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russia’s Alfa Group.

The source added that shortlisted suitors included a consortium of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom and its subsidiary Telecel Globe, and Angola’s UNITEL — a consortium consisting of Unitel S.A and Angola Cables S.A. Other shortlisted bidder is a consortium of Libya’s LAP Greencom and LAP Green Networks.
ZDA and shortlisted suitors could not immediately be reached for comment.

The long-planned privatisation of Zamtel has been criticised by opposition parties who said Zambians should be allowed to hold a bigger stake in the company.

Zamtel’s revenue for the year to end-December were $100 million.

The source said ZDA would be making an announcement today regarding the prequalified bidders to buy a majority stake in Zamtel.

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