Posted on Wed 21 Jun 2017, 12:32 PM

Etisalat has been instructed to transfer its 45 percent stake in Etisalat Nigeria to a loan trustee following the failure of debt restructuring talks with a consortium of banks, led by Access Bank PLC and other Nigerian and foreign banks.

The Abu Dhabi telecoms company disclosed in a statement on Tuesday that it had been notified to transfer its stake, which had a carrying value of zero on its books, by June 23.

Etisalat Nigeria was said to have been in talks with the Nigerian banks to restructure a $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) loan after missing repayments but those discussions failed to produce an agreement on restructuring the debt.

The involved banks, include Access Bank, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, FirstBank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Stanbic IBTC, EcoBank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, among others,.

Reuters reports an Etisalat Nigeria spokesman as stating that the company was still in discussions with lenders to find a “non-disruptive” solution.

Etisalat said its financial exposure to Etisalat Nigeria was related to operational services worth 191 million UAE dirhams ($52 million) and that discussions were ongoing with lenders regarding the use of the Etisalat brand.

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