Nepal Telecom has received some eight Expressions of Interest (EoI) for its consultancy service to search for a strategic partner.

“Eight international firms including KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Roger Brothers (USA), Detecon International (Germany), an Indian and Singaporean firms have expressed interest in providing consultancy service to Nepal Telecom to help it rope in a strategic partner by the end of deadline today,” the telecom said in a press note.

The global consulting agencies have claimed that they will provide consultancy service in preparing Due Diligence Audit (DDA) and bid documents to select a strategic partner.

The telecom service provider has been since last four years planning to bring in a strategic partner to stay afloat in the increasingly competitive market as more service providers have been coming lately.

But the complicated and lengthy procurement rules and political interference, has made the Nepal Telecom more inefficient and feared to lose the market share sooner.

The government that has 92 per cent share in the Nepal Telecom currently is planning to divest 30 per cent of its stake to the strategic partner to make the company more competitive and efficient, and also bring in new technology.

The telecom will evaluate and shortlist the potential consultants and they will be asked to submit their technical and financial proposals before selecting one of them.

The process might take three months, said the telecom service provider that is listed in the secondary market.

The telecom has asked the consultant with criterion – like annual turnover of at least $10 million in the last three years and experience of providing consultancy on mergers and acquisitions and divestment of shares in telecom companies in at least five different countries – to apply a month ago.

The telecom service provider has planned to complete the process of bringing a strategic partner in two years. The prospective partner will have to invest Rs 30 billion to Rs 40 billion to acquire stakes of Nepal Telecom, according to a 2012 study of Finance Ministry.

Currently, the stakes of the Nepal Telecom – that has listed some 150,000,000 units– has been traded at Rs 660 per unit at the Nepal Stock Exchange.

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