Etisalat Nigeria has commenced changes to its shareholding structure after talks to restructure a $1.2 billion loan failed, the company said on Tuesday.
Services to its subscribers will not be affected by the changes, Ibrahim Dikko, vice president for regulatory affairs at Etisalat Nigeria said in a statement, reports Reuters.
The telecom company said discussions were on-going regarding its trading name, which may have to change as a result of the shareholding changes.
Earlier, Etisalat was instructed to transfer its 45 percent stake in Nigeria to a loan trustee after debt restructuring talks with lenders failed.
The telecommunication company had been in talks with Nigerian banks to restructure a $1.2 billion loan after missing repayments but those discussions failed to produce an agreement on restructuring the debt.
An Etisalat Nigeria spokesman said the company was still in discussions with lenders to find a “non-disruptive” solution.
Etisalat said its financial exposure to Etisalat Nigeria was related to operational services worth 191 million UAE dirhams ($52 million) and that discussions were ongoing with lenders regarding the use of the Etisalat brand.
A group of banks comprising of Access Bank Plc and other Nigerian and foreign banks, may take stakes in the new restructuring since new developments are as a result of the inability of the telecom company to meet its debt servicing obligations agreed since 2016 in respect of a $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) loan facility it obtained from a consortium of banks in 2015.
Frontpage February 3, 2020