Four foreign firms are interested in buying a 45%-50% equity stake in Zimbabwean state-owned mobile operator NetOne, according to a report from the Zimbabwe Independent citing industry insiders. Potential bidders reportedly include ‘an American-funded Lebanese consortium’, ‘a South African telecommunications giant’, ‘an Abu Dhabi-based firm’ and a group of ex-pat Zimbabwean investors. The report added that the potential investors ‘had showed willingness to clean up NetOne’s balance sheet and inject fresh capital into the state-run entity’. NetOne, the smallest of three Zimbabwean mobile network operators (MNOs), has perennially registered losses despite being the first to launch cellular services in the country. South Africa’s MTN has had several previous bids for NetOne rebuffed – and the latest report claims that MTN is not on the list of suitors this time around.