Of the eight companies shortlisted in the sale process of a 75% stake in Zambian fixed line incumbent Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel), only three have submitted bids. According to the Times of Zambia the three foreign companies to submit their offers to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) for the telco are India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Unitel of Angola and Libya-based LAP Greencom. A fourth bid, from a consortium of Russia’s Vimpelcom and the telecoms arm of the Alfa Group, Altimo, was understood to have been sent on time, but reportedly arrived at the ZDA offices five minutes after the submission deadline as a result of ‘logistical reasons’. The bid however was still considered, and the ZDA board confirmed that Altimo’s non-binding offer had been accepted today. The four companies that had been shortlisted but chose not to bid were Telkom South Africa, BSNL’s fellow state-owned Indian telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Portugal Telecom and a consortium of Egypt-based Orascom Telecom and its subsidiary Telecel Globe.
ZDA acting director general, Muhabi Lungu, after opening the bids said the ZDA would now study the offers, while also passing the details on to the board of Zamtel for its evaluation. Mr Lungu has stated that the ZDA will announce which of the companies will move on to the next stage in the sale process on 11 January 2010, where another due diligence would be undertaken before the successful bidder is chosen.