BEIJING (

TheStreet

) --

China Unicom

(CHU) - Get Report

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

TST Recommends

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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