A consortium of members drawn from law firm, Collins Newman & Co, and from Deloittes has been awarded the role of transaction advisors as PEEPA strives to privatise the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC).
Awarding of the tender forms is one amongst many procedures to be undertaken before the entity is privatised.
The consortium, made up of citizen-owned companies, recently won the tender that has been floated around since late last year.
Collins & Newman and Deloitte emerged above a record number of 18 local companies in consortiums of 4 that had tendered for the role of transaction advisors.
“Their role as advisors will be to undertake evaluation of BTC assets, develop due diligence, build a structure of shares as well as ensure transaction closures at BTC,” PEEPA revealed.
2010 was the year that government decided on the privatisation of BTC and it was stressed that citizen participation in the tendering process was highly encouraged. Citizen companies were to be given first priority.
Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Finance and Development had undertaken steps to implement the transaction.
The model chosen is through an initial public sharing of shares of up to 49 percent, government is to remain the majority shareholder at 51 percent.
The one condition that government made, however, was that when the citizen companies disposed of their shares, they would sell them back to government.
According to Kgotla Ramaphane, CEO of PEEPA, the fact that citizen companies were given priority in the tendering process has not lowered the quality of the competition for the bid. He said that they did not feel that narrowing the awarding of tenders to citizens had any effect on the quality of what the companies had to offer.
“In our view, we define the scope of work and the bidders that tendered met the requirements listed and we, therefore, qualified to compete for the tender,” said Ramaphane.
Partner at Collins Newman & CO, Rizwan Desai, said that the consortium was fortunate to have won the tender and is ready to commence work on diligence this weekend. He said that he supported the citizen participation requirement that formed the model for BTC privatization. He made note of the fact that their consortium is made up of both citizens of Botswana as well as residents.
“We believe that there should be no international component to the process unless that is required in time with unforeseen circumstances,” said Desai.