Etisalat to exit Nigeria after regulators intervene

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ABU DHABI, JULY 10, 2017 – Telecoms group Etisalat has terminated a management agreement with its Nigerian arm and given the business time to phase out the Etisalat brand in Nigeria, the chief executive of Etisalat International told Reuters on Monday.

Nigerian regulators intervened last week to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed.

Etisalat, with a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, said in June it had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after the talks had failed.

CEO of Etisalat International Hatem Dowidar said all UAE shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria, including state-owned investment fund Mubadala, had exited the company and left the board and management.

He said in an interview with Reuters discussions were ongoing with Etisalat Nigeria to provide technical support, adding that it could continue to use the brand for another three-weeks before phasing it out.

“There’s a new board and we are not part of that company. We have sent our termination letter for the management agreement,” he told Reuters.

Etisalat Nigeria is the biggest foreign-owned victim of dollar shortages plaguing the country due to lower oil prices and economic recession, leaving the company struggling to make repayments to lenders and suppliers.

 

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