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Orange, 2 other European telecoms giants closing in on acquiring Etisalat if…

Another window of opportunity for any of the three (names with held) deep pocket telecoms investors based in Europe who had been targeting to buy any of the exit rumoured GSM companies.

It would be recalled that weekend, the news broke that Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat is considering a sale of its stake in Etisalat Nigeria after the local unit defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan payment but wants the unit’s debt restructured before it starts the sale process, two sources told Reuters.

A dependable source in the industry had confided in Business Hilights early this year that three European telecoms giants who wanted to enter Nigerian market late last year were only interested in buying assets and liabilities  of troubled companies that had established over time and not entering as new ones.

Though the expert managed to hint about Orange Group, it was not yet clear if it is still interested in Nigerian market considering the state of the economy, but experts say this is the best time to invest for foreigners as each of the dollars they come with will make impact both for the investor and the ailing economy.

The other two he veiled, he said are ready to buy up both assets and liability of any exit bound or debt ridden firm.

The expert who pleaded anonymity disclosed that foreign investors is not only ready to buy a well established telecoms company in Nigeria, but is very ready to inject huge Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the extent the hitherto failed company will suddenly become the best in terms of infrastructure, technology and service delivery.

The expert said “the investors are not interested in coming to start from the scratch, but to come into a troubled firm and turn it around with the best cutting-edge technology in other to become the best within a record time”.

“Two of them have spoken to me and I have advised them but I cannot talk more until it begins to emerge,” he submitted.

Our correspondent gathered that Etisalat is due to meet with local lenders in Nigeria either today, Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss the loan default, the source said, adding that the Abu Dhabi listed company was keen to resolve the loan issue and would look for a good price to sell its stake.

Ahmed Bin Ali, senior vice president at Etisalat, said Etisalat Group does not comment on rumours or market speculation. Etisalat Nigeria could not be reached for comment.

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