Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Etisalat changes name, now 9mobile

Etisalat changes name, now 9mobile

The name change is coming a few weeks after the pullout of Mubadala Group, Etisalat's major investor, from the United Arab Emirates, over a $1.4bn (N541bn) debt.

The Etisalat Group pulled out of Etisalat Nigeria following an unresolved $1.2 billion bank loan.

EMTS on Tuesday had proposed the name change to its customers and assured them that the change would not affect its operations in any way.

"Etisalat continued to service the loan up until February 2017, when discussions with the banks regarding the repayment restructuring commenced", Ibrahim Dikko, vice-president, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs of Etisalat Nigeria said.

"(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, he said, adding that it was tough to say what lenders would do.

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They have been champions of the Ghana Premier League a record 24 times, and have won the CAF Champions League twice. The Ghana Football Association released a statement expressing their sadness.

GT Bank with $138 million in outstanding loans and Access Bank with $131 million are among the most exposed to Etisalat Nigeria.

This is coming in days after the global franchise, Etisalat International ended its management agreement with its Nigerian arm. Etisalat Nigeria will now be known as 9Mobile.

Nigeria's banks are set to report interim earnings this month and investors will be watching for signs of a rise in non-performing loans.

On July 4, a new board was appointed for Etisalat Nigeria by the CBN, NCC and the lenders, to handle the smooth transition of the telco after a reallocation of shares.

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