Nigeria Gets $559 Million From Bidders for Power Utilities

Nigeria said all 14 companies bidding for the country’s power utilities, including Transnational Corp. of Nigeria Plc, Siemens AG and China Machinery Engineering Corp., have paid the required 25 percent value of their offers.

All the buyers “have met the deadline for the payment of the mandatory 25 percent of the offer value of their bids,” the Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises, or BPE, said today in an e-mailed statement. That’s equal to $559.4 million, according to the BPE.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is selling majority stakes in power plants and letting private investors acquire as much as 60 percent holdings in six state-owned transmission and 11 power distribution companies spun out of the former state-owned utility. After signing sales pacts with the government on Feb. 22, the buyers had 15 days to pay 25 percent of the amounts they bid. Full payment is due within 90 days.

Blackouts are a daily occurrence in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 160 million people. Electricity demand is almost double the supply of about 4,000 megawatts. The government is offering incentives to investors, including five-year tax breaks and permission to charge higher electricity tariffs, according to the BPE.

The country expects to earn $1.3 billion from the sale of the power distributors and about $700 million from the generators.

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