China Unicom Bids $2.5B for 75% of NITEL

BEIJING ( TheStreet) -- China Unicom ( CHU) and partners could buy 75% of Nigerian Telecommunications for $2.5 billion.

New Generation Telecom, which besides China Unicom also includes Minerva Group and GiCell Wireless, was selected as the preferred bidder for Nigerian Telecommunications, the state-owned phone company known as NITEL, said an official at the National Council on Privatization, Bloomberg reports.

China Unicom's group outbid a $956 million offer from Omen International and four shortlisted suitors including MTN Group, Africa's biggest phone company, Bloomberg notes.

The bidding is subject to final approval by the National Council on Privatization, the Wall Street Journal reports.

More than half of Nigerians still don't have mobile phones, Bloomberg reports, putting China Unicom, China's second-largest mobile phone company, in a good position enter the fastest-growing phone market in Africa.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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