Etisalat: No Conclusion with the Banks on Debt Repayment

Emma Okonji

Few weeks after Mubadala, which owns 40 per cent investment in Etisalat Group visited Nigeria and met with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the 13 local banks over the $1.2 billion Etisalat indebtedness to the banks, the telecoms company on Monday, said it was still in discussions with its lenders regarding its existing obligations under the syndicated loan agreement signed in 2013.

Etisalat in a statement said it had not received any formal communication from the lenders regarding the proposal.

“Whilst we are aware of recent news reports stating that the offer has been rejected by the banks, we cannot confirm this as true as no formal communication has been received from the banks regarding the proposal,” the Etisalat management said.

It was gathered that Etisalat had proposed to repay the $1.2 billion loan in naira denomination but the banks are insisting it be paid in dollars.

According to the statement, “Etisalat has so far held robust discussions with lenders in good faith, and we hope that all areas of discord will be resolved in due course. Indeed the current economic challenges have occasioned untold hardship on the telecom industry as a whole, thus requiring a major shift in position by all affected parties.

“We continue to explore all available options to pull through this phase. We will continue to engage all relevant parties in earnest with a view to securing a mutually agreeable outcome.

“Furthermore, we are not taking anything off the table at this time, and Etisalat assures all stakeholders that the ongoing discussions are not intended nor expected to impact negatively on the company’s ability to continue providing seamless communications services to our subscribers. “Etisalat will continue to focus on providing uninterrupted services to subscribers on our network.”

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