Etisalat is considering the sale of its stake in Etisalat Nigeria, but wants to clear-up its financial situation before making any moves, Reuters reported.
The business missed a repayment on $1.7 billion of loans, which were raised to fund its investments and operations. This was attributed to an economic downturn in the country, currency devaluation, and a shortage of US dollars on the country’s interbank market, Business Day said.
In the meantime, the Nigerian Communications Commission and Central Bank of Nigeria stepped in to prevent Etisalat Nigeria’s creditors taking over the business or placing it into receivership, agreeing “concrete actions that will bring all parties closest to a resolution”.
This included securing the “necessary oxygen” to enable the business to continue, with the regulator looking to protect both subscribers and potential investors in the country’s telecoms sector.
It was previously suggested that three Nigerian banks which were owed money were set to take over the operator.
UAE-based Etisalat owns 40 per cent of Etisalat Nigeria.