Abu Dhabi out of tele­coms deal

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

ABU Dhabi state in­vest­ment fund Mubadala has pulled out of Eti­salat Nige­ria af­ter the tele­coms firm failed to rene­go­ti­ate a $1.2 bil­lion loan taken out four years ago with 13 Nige­rian banks, the cen­tral bank said on Fri­day. It gave no de­tails on what it meant by “pulled out” but said it had in­ter­vened in the loan rene­go­ti­a­tion talks to pre­vent job losses and as­set strip­ping. Eti­salat Nige­ria had re­paid $500 mil­lion of the loan be­fore it de­faulted in Fe­bru­ary due to a cur­rency de­val­u­a­tion, and its only re­main­ing in­vestors are its Nige­rian part­ners, led by com­pany chair­man Ha­keem Belo-Osagie. On Tues­day, par­ent com­pany United Arab Emi­rates Eti­salat, said it was car­ry­ing its 45 per­cent stake at nil value, and that the Nige­rian len­ders had or­dered it to trans­fer its shares to a loan trustee by Fri­day af­ter the rene­go­ti­a­tion failed. Nei­ther Eti­salat nor Mubadala, which owns 40 per­cent of Eti­salat Nige­ria, could be reached for com­ment. The orig­i­nal loan was a seven-year fa­cil­ity to re­fi­nance a $650m loan and fund ex­pan­sion of Eti­salat Nige­ria’s net­work. – Reuters

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