The Etisalat Nigeria saga has developed yet another twist, as a press release issued on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange confirms that Etisalat UAE has pulled out from the Nigerian unit. Despite these developments, the telecoms company has fervently maintained that negotiations are still ongoing with its creditors.
Here are key highlights:
- The parent company has written off the value of its stake to zero.
- The firm has been a given a deadline of June 23 to transfer its stake.
- Etisalat Nigeria owes it $52 million for operational services.
- The creditor banks are now preparing to take over the telco.
Etisalat Nigeria has struggled to agree terms with a consortium of banks that lent it $1.2 billion. The banks have threatened to take over the firm in order to recover the debt. Intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has yielded no benefits and both agencies have declined comments.
Etisalat’s pulling out is confirmation that United Arab Emirates state owned investing company, Mubadala is not interested in bailing out the Nigerian entity and may have also resigned to losing its indirect stake in the Nigerian entity.
In the event that Etisalat withholds the use of its brand name, the company may have to undergo re-branding. A change in name may also stand the risk of further alienating customers.
Data from the NCC for the three months ended March 2017, show the telco lost the highest number of customers.
Here is a copy of the press release posted on the website of the Abu Dhabi stock exchange.
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