Nigerian regulators push for Etisalat debt talks deal
ABU DHABI, March 11, 2017
UAE-based telecom services provider Etisalat's Nigerian unit has won reprieve from the country's telecom regulator and Central Bank of Nigeria to find a quick resolution to the loan default crisis facing the company, said a report.
Following a meeting with Etisalat officials, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agreed to help resolve the debt restructuring talks with its lenders after it missed a payment on a $1.2 billion loan, reported The Nation.
The meeting succeeded in halting the attempt by Etisalat’s creditors at bringing it under any form of take over. Receivership was completely taken off the table in a meeting that was very productive and constructive.
The company recently held discussions with three banks – Zenith Bank, Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank - who are battling to recover the $1-billion loan, it stated.
A large portion of the loan, which was meant to expand the telco’s network, is unpaid. The banks are threatening to invoke a segment of the loan agreement, which allows the creditors to assume the management of the company, it added.
The Nation had reported exclusively on Tuesday that creditors were contemplating assuming ownership of the GSM operator.