N541 billion Debt: Access Bank, others take over Etisalat Nigeria

An Etisalat Office
An Etisalat Office

A consortium of banks, led by Access Bank PLC and other Nigerian and foreign banks, has taken over the management of Etisalat Nigeria, effective June 15.

The takeover followed the collapse of the 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 impasse.

However, EMTS Holding BV, established in the Netherlands, has up to June 23 to complete the transfer of 100 percent 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 on Tuesday in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.

The filing, with reference number Ho/GCFO/152/85, and dated June 20, 2017 signed by Etisalat Group Chief Financial Officber, Serkan Okandan, said efforts by EMTS to restructure the repayment of the syndicated loan by a consortium of banks to Etisalat Nigeria collapsed.

“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 filing said.

The company added, “The carrying values of this shares in Etisalat Group’s books is nil. The remaining financial exposure from the company is related to operational services (such as international roaming) provided by Etisalat Group to EMTS, and management, technical and IP related agreements and is limited to an amount of AED 191 million as at 31 March 2017.

“The management, technical and IP related agreements between Etisalat Group and EMTS, which includes an agreement to use the Etisalat brand, which are the subject of ongoing discussions with EMTS and the EMTS lenders.”

Etisalat Nigeria 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.

Unable to meet its debt servicing obligations agreed since 2016, the consortium, prodded by their foreign partners, threatened to take over the company and its assets across the country.

But the intervention of the telecom sector regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and its financial sector counterpart, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, persuaded the banks to rethink their threat and give Etisalat a chance to renegotiate the loan’s repayment schedule.

Late last week, PREMIUM TIMES reported exclusively that Etisalat was sinking deeper into trouble, with Mubadala, its majority shareholder, representing Etisalat of UAE, on the verge of pulling out following irreconcilable differences concerning the loan issue.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Man_Enough

    go deep down, you will see corruption baring it fangs at the background. if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill all of us.

    • 333

      True Talk

  • Oskirin

    hakeem…kilo de? try n do something oooo.

  • Amir

    Etisalat thought PDP will win the 2015 elections and so continued to borrow money irresponsibly. Jonathan’s government would have given them contract to provide telephone coverage for Niger Delta militants at $1 billion per annum. They should go down as a lesson. ‘Foreign investors’ my foot!

    • share Idea

      Another mumu contribution from uninformed. Hope it was GEJ and PDP that have been contributing to companies been liquidated in other climes. Nigeria we hail thee

    • Charles

      have you taken your medication?

    • emmanuel

      Maga. Is Bello Osagie, El-Rufai members of the PDP? Abi na the UAE Arab hawks brought in the the name of Allah part of the PDP?
      The non-governance of the block headed APC leadership has caused their men huge investments. This is one down “pickin when say im mama nor go sleep, that pikin nor go sleep too”

      • marcos avelino

        Useless moron bigot

        • emmanuel

          Na today you know say i be moron?
          Buhari set the agenda for bigotry and you have been part of it. S o do not go there.

      • Mufu Ola

        Sound mind indeed!!

  • Mufu Ola

    The banks contributed to the problem through their manipulation of forex. Let’s how they will manage Etisalat to recoup “their” money.

    • emmanuel

      Human brain is not found on the shelf in markets. Keep quiet if you have nothing to offer, which is better than spreading ignorance.
      Leave this issue to sound minds please. You can react when Liar Mohammed churcn out his innuendos

  • Abdullah Musa

    If not in Nigeria where would this unsustainable debt be approved?
    Why didn’t they issue shares?
    Because there were billions belonging to Nigerians in banks to be squandered.
    And at the end government will swallow the toxic assets by transferring people’s wealth to the fraudsters.
    Finally: what does Emifiele or Sanusi know about this?

  • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

    Na Jonathan cause am!
    LIE Mohammed, tell them abeg!!

    • oyoko

      who cause am, if not him. when one organization is allowed to take N540b alone as loan from Banks, how can the Banks service loan request from other companies like SMEs. during the time of Jonathan, so much impunity, PMB has come to re-write this rubbish.

      • emmanuel

        Oyokooooo, Is that what you know about money? Is money not meant to expand? How do you think the Telecoms gained foothold in Nigeria, through money from your backyard?
        Every economy is run by mix of large and small ticket transaction. Please develop your business big time and throw it away, because SME’s must be financed.
        Most of those businesses survived somehow until chanji came in and refuse to spend public sector money in eighteen months.
        If you understand macro economics, do an in-depth analysis and you would arrive at the impact of Buharis misrule in financial damage. But whilst doing this, set propaganda and sentiments aside to get result!

        • oyoko

          Grammar! good economic index of Jonathan that could not expend $1 in our foreign reserve for 6 years. For 6 years it was all voodoo economic. The same is now hunting etisalat.

          • Fairgame

            You are incredibly proud of your ignorance and stupidity. Shame.


    Give us our own separate country! This is our demand. A united republics of the states of the Bight of Biafra (Present day South East and South South of Nigeria)

    Nigeria is not working and will never work. Divided we stand, United we fall.

    • marcos avelino

      Add to your biafra kogi and idoma lands

  • Fidelis

    Give me a country. No one Nigeria. 1914 amalgamation is no longer relevant. How can suicide bombers remain unnamed? I do not want to be in that kind of country. Never. Just give me my own country as demanded. I want my Niger Delta Republic as declared on Feb 23rd 1966 by Isaac Adaka Boro. A Niger Delta that MEND, Saro Wiwa, Avengers etc and all others have fought and died for. For crying out loud, many countries of Europe are under 3milion in population. Nigeria is jinxed. A zoo. Just imagine a president so sick BUT holds on tenaciously to power at the expense of 190m Nigerians…just lust for power! Just the same way they can kill via suicide bombers and terrorists so as to get political power. Time to break up pls!

    • ghengis khan

      Igbos can’t even agree to present a consesus candidate for an appointment or election, yet they want Biafra…what a laugh…I give them maximum 3 months after Biafra and they’ll be crossing the border back into Nigeria…. Igbos are a necessary evil

  • Fairgame

    Anything Hakeem Bello Osagie and el Rufai touch turns to dust. Like UBA before he was forced to sell it like Etisalat. And these are the criminals positioning to take over power in 2019. God forbid!!!

    • Mufu Ola

      What did he steal from you?