Etisalat Nigeria sought to reassure its apparently distraught workers Tuesday after talks with its lenders broke down, leading to the telecoms company being taken over by banks.
In a message to all staff of the company, the Chief Executive of Etisalat Nigeria, Mathew Willsher, acknowledged the challenging business outlook for the company in the wake of the ongoing takeover by a consortium of banks, but said its negotiations allowed the refocus of its energies on the financial, operational and strategic priorities to help the company emerge better and stronger from its current position.
Titled: “A Message From the CEO” from TopTalk, and addressed to all staff, Mr. Willsher said since the news broke in February of the negotiations by the company with a consortium of banks for the loan repayment, most of staff were understandably anxious about the future of the company and the place of the workers in it.
Despite the uncertainty of the period, he said the company had kept faith with the business, by focusing on the customers, delivering results and supporting each other through change.
In the face of the challenges, the CEO said he was proud that the staff continued to apply their strengths in service, results and internal support to move the business forward on a daily basis.
“Our renegotiation with the banks are not yet over. But, our shareholding structure is evolving,” Mr. Willsher announced to the staff.
“This morning (Tuesday) Etisalat UAE notified the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange of the forthcoming transfer of their shares to the appointed security trustee of the banks. The exact nature and timing of the transfer is still under discussion. But, we still expect the final transfer to be done in a coordinated manner.”
He said discussions were equally ongoing to address the different management, technical and internet protocol-related implications of the move, including the continued use of the Etisalat brand name to trade in Nigeria.
Acknowledging that the current development was part of the many possible outcomes the company expected from the negotiations, Mr. Willsher assured that business would continue to operate, considering that planned exits was expected to be carried out with the banks, industry regulators and other interest groups.
Mr. Willsher said Etisalat’s immediate priority was to ensure there were no disruptions to its daily business operations.
“In spite of the changes that lie ahead, we aim to maintain continuity through our focus, capabilities and values,” he said. “We will continue to focus on the customer. Our commitment to delivering results through innovation, operational excellence and quality of service will endure. We will also be guided by our core values of passion for excellence, integrity, one team one mission, growing our people and empowering our people.”
He asked the staff to join their various leadership teams for briefing sessions in all offices across the country, to help answer their questions on what the changes mean to them and the business.
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