$1.2b Loan: Etisalat denies pullout of major shareholder
Claims Negotiation Continues With Lenders
Telecommunications firm, Etisalat has denied report that its majority shareholder, Mubadala Development Company, from the United Arab Emirate is exiting the business because of the troubled $1.2 billion syndicated loan.
As such, Etisalat said that the discussions with its lenders over the loan are still very much ongoing.The firm, according to its Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Ibrahim Dikko, in a statement, yesterday 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.
Dikko therefore, said it will therefore be presumptive and in bad faith to begin to predict the outcome.“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,” he stated.
According to him, 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,” he noted.
Dikko said the telecommunications firm therefore appeals to its partners in the media not to be speculative, stressing that the company appreciate the tremendous support it has received since inception and still count on the continued support of the media “as we navigate this path and emerge as a stronger business.”