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Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat considers selling shares in its Nigerian unit after failure to pay $1.2bn debt

Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat considers selling shares in its Nigerian unit after failure to pay $1.2bn debt
  • Comments   -   Monday, 13 March 2017 - 16:38

(Ecofin Agency) - Etisalat has announced that it is considering selling its stake in its subsidiary, Etisalat Nigeria, following the unit’s failure to repay its $1.2billion debt. According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the Abu Dhabi-listed firm wants Etisalat Nigeria’s debt restructured before initiating the sale process.

The sources explained that the parent company is keen to clear the debt and in this regard plans to meet with local lenders in Nigeria this week, to discuss the payment. Meanwhile, Nigeria's National Communications Commission (NCC) said last week Friday, it made an agreement with the central bank and the concerned lenders to halt the firm’s takeover.

Friday's meeting succeeded in halting the attempt by Etisalat's creditors at bringing it under any form of takeover. The banks and the mobile network operator agreed to concrete actions that will bring all parties closest to a resolution,” the NCC said in a statement.

Let’s recall that last week a consortium of 13 banks which includes Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank planned to take over the telecoms operator over the nonpayment of the loan borrowed in 2015. This facility was used by Etisalat to finance a major network rehabilitation project and expand its operations across the country.

Anita Fatunji

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