The Ugandan government is thought to favour a bid from Mauritius Telecom (MT) as it seeks to secure an investor for struggling state-owned fixed and mobile operator Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL). Although MT submitted the lowest offer from the seven parties looking to acquire a majority stake in UTL, Uganda’s Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) says the firm is the only ‘credible potential partner’.
MT is offering USD45 million for a 69% interest in UTL, adding that it would invest USD100 million over three years. The highest offer – from Hamilton Telecom – would net the government USD70 million, though The East African reports that there are some doubts whether that company has the track record and financial muscle to succeed in turning around UTL’s fortunes. The second highest bid for UTL – of USD60.5 million from a consortium involving Afrinet Communications and Safaricom – has been withdrawn after Safaricom decided to back out of the venture.
While the FIA has settled on MT as its preferred buyer, UTL’s administrators appear keen to give Hamilton a chance to prove it has the resources to back up its offer in an effort to secure the best possible price for the telco.