Etisalat Nigeria to close down

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Etisalat International has terminated a management agreement with its Nigerian unit, saying that it has about three weeks to stop operations in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat International, Hatem Dowidar, told Reuters on Monday that the exit process became necessary as the firm had been unsuccessful at converting some of its dollar debts.

However, Dowidar said, “The Nigerian lenders may try to continue to operate the company until they find a buyer, or they may merge the company with the existing players in Nigeria.”
With a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, Etisalat had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after it could not pay up the $589m debt of the original loan
He said it was tough to say what the lenders would do.
The Nigerian Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria had recently intervened to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after it failed to pay the remaining $589m from a $1.2bn loan it took from a consortium of 13 banks.
Earlier, shareholders of Etisalat Nigeria in the UAE, including state-owned investment fund, Mubadala, exited the company.
The Etisalat CEO added, “The brand agreement in either of these two scenarios won’t be a long-term thing, so we take out the brand; in the long term, Etisalat won’t be in Nigeria.”
He had earlier told Reuters that discussions were ongoing with Etisalat Nigeria to provide technical support.

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