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Last week to decide Etisalat’s destiny on $1.2b debts owed banks begins today


Feelers form some of the major banks owed by the telecoms group; Etisalat on Sunday revealed that this week remains the period for final decision on the troubled $1.2 billion syndicated loan crisis rocking the firm with about 13 Nigerian banks.

A top official of one of the new generation bank that was also named in the Nigerian Customs N30tn infractions by the Senate confided in Business Hilights that “Some of us (the banks) may not take further excuses after this week because we think we have sacrificed much for the telecom in the spirit of Nigerian project”.

Though the banker failed to give more details on what the banks may be up to in the event of further collapse of talks, Etisalat in a statement weekend, denied report that its majority shareholder, Mubadala Development Company, from the United Arab Emirate has lost interest in the ongoing revival efforts.

Etisalat was however, quick to note also that the discussions with its lenders over the loan are still very much ongoing.

Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Ibrahim Dikko, in a statement, in Lagos, said “whilst it is premature at this stage of the ongoing discussions to affirm that this (Mubadala Development Company, the majority shareholder of the company is exiting the business) is the conclusive option, Etisalat Nigeria considers it pertinent to state that parties to the negotiation are considering a number of options and discussions are at an advanced stage regarding the syndicated loan agreement with the banks”.

According to him, “Discussions have so far been quite collaborative and we expect to reach a final resolution next week, by which time we will be in the position to make a definitive announcement”.

“Etisalat Nigeria can confirm that negotiations with the consortium of banks regarding the syndicated loan agreement signed in 2013 have reached an advanced stage.

“As noted in an earlier statement, we are considering a number of options and are not taking anything off the table at this time.

“Etisalat remains a viable business, having recorded its best financial year in 2016. Parties are keen to ensure that the ongoing discussions and eventual outcome do not affect the day-to-day operations of the business whether now or after the announcement of our agreement. All parties have continually demonstrated an interest in the continued operations of Etisalat as a business as it remains the backbone of millions of small business owners; multinationals, government and indeed Nigerian subscribers in general,” Dikko averred.