Access Bank, Others In Charge Of Etisalat Nigeria
Access Bank, and other local and foreign banks have taken over the management of the telecommunication company, Etisalat Nigeria with effect from June 15.
The take-over is reported to be as a result of a futile effort by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS), promoted by-one time Chairman, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, to reach agreement with the banks on debt restructuring plan in the protracted $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) debt issue.
EMTS Holding BV, established in the Netherlands, has up to June 23 to complete the transfer of 100 per cent of the company’s shares in Etisalat to the United Capital Trustees Limited, the legal representative of the consortium of banks.
Etisalat Group, the parent company of Etisalat Nigeria, announced the takeover today in a letter filed to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
A letter dated 20th June, 2017, with No. Ho/GCFO/152/85 signed by Etisalat Group Chief Financial Officer, Serkan Okandan, said, “Further to our announcement dated 12 February, 2017, Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC, ‘Etisalat Group’[ would like to inform you that Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited ‘EMTS’ (‘the company), established in Nigeria and an associate of Etisalat Group with effective ownership of 45% and 25% ordinary and preference shares respectively, defaulted on a facility agreement with a syndicate of Nigerian banks (‘EMTS Lenders’).
“Subsequently, discussions between EMTS and the EMTS Lenders did not produce an agreement on a debt restructuring plan. Accordingly, the Company received a default and security Enforcement Notice on 9 June 2017 requesting EMTS Holding BV (EMTS BV) established in the Netherlands, and through which Etisalat Group holds its interest in the company) requiring EMTS BV to transfer 100% of its shares in the company to the United Capital Trustees Limited (the Security Trustee”) of the EMTS Lenders by 15 June 2017.”
“Subsequently the EMTS Lenders extended the deadline for the share transfer to 5.00 pm Lagos time on 23 June 2017.”
The Telecommunication company has been under pressure since 2016, following the demand notice for the recovery of a $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) loan facility it obtained from a consortium of banks in 2015. The loan, which involved a foreign-backed guaranty bond, was for the mobile telephone operator to finance a major network rehabilitation and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria