UAE-based telecoms group Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has been instructed to transfer its entire 45% stake in Etisalat Nigeria to a loan trustee, after talks to restructure the mobile operator’s debt failed. Earlier this year Etisalat Nigeria defaulted on a USD1.2 billion facility agreement with a syndicate of Nigerian banks and subsequent discussions between the operator and its lenders did not lead to a resolution on a debt restructuring plan. In an announcement through the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Etisalat Group says it has received a Default and Security Enforcement Notice requiring it to transfer its entire stake in Nigeria’s fourth largest cellco to United Capital Trustees, the security trustee of the firm’s lenders.
In the statement, Etisalat said the management, technical and IP related agreements with the Nigerian operator, including a deal to use the Etisalat brand, are the subject of ongoing discussions with the cellco’s lenders. It added: ‘Should there be any material developments on this subject, a further announcement will be made in accordance with applicable Securities and Exchange rules and regulations.’