Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunication company, Etisalat Nigeria, may lose its trading name after its UAE-based parent company, Etisalat UAE, pulled out of the troubled telco.
Etisalat Nigeria has confirmed it is working on changes to its shareholding structure following the exit.
Its Abu Dhabi parent company Etisalat UAE (owned by Mubadala Holdings) had this morning informed the Abu Dhabi stock exchange that it was divesting completely from Nigeria. This forces Etisalat Nigeria to begin exploring the option of a new trading name as it is set to lose the rights to the name Etisalat with the pull-out.
Etisalat Nigeria has for months been locked in negotiations with a consortium of commercial lenders over a $1.2 billion loan. The telco took the loan to shore up its infrastructure and enhance operational activities but has struggled to meet repayment deadlines recently. This is a key factor behind the divestment.
The divestment will see Etisalat transfer all of its 45% and 25%, ordinary and preference shares respectively, to a security trustee, United Capital Trustee Limited, local business blog Nairametrics explained. The shares would be held by the Trustee on behalf of the lenders and other shareholders who lay claim to the telco’s assets.
Etisalat Nigeria currently has about 14 million subscribers and doesn’t expect this restructuring to disrupt its services to these customers.