EIU Newswire reported on 2 December 2005:
In August the BPE also unveiled a shortlist of six potential bidders for a 51% stake in Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel) and its mobile unit, M- Tel. The potential buyers are South Africa's MTN and Telkom, Chinese equipment maker, Huawei Technologies, Egypt's Orascom Telecom, Celtel International and Newtel. They were picked out of 22 companies that expressed interest in Nitel. Nigeria's communications minister said in September that one of the bidders will be chosen by the end of the year. Analysts expect the stake to fetch substantially less than the US$1.3bn offered by the preferred bidder in the 2001 sale, which collapsed after the buyer failed to pay the purchase price.