Telco Giant Etisalat Nigeria Rebrands, Now 9Mobile Telecom
The embattled telecommunication giant, Etisalat Nigeria, has now gotten a new brand name, multiple media sources have said.
Premium Times reports that after a meeting of the management of the firm on Thursday in Lagos, 9Mobile was adopted by the company as the new brand name.
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.
And also, barely days after the Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat Group announced that it had terminated its management agreement with its Nigerian arm.
According to Reuters, Hatem Dowidar, chief executive of Etisalat International, said the company, with a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, is transferring its shares to a trustee after talks to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan collapsed.
Although Etisalat Nigeria in a statement issued three weeks ago claimed that it had repaid 42 per cent of the loan.
“As at today, we can categorically state that the outstanding loan sum to the consortium(of banks) stands at $227m and N113bn, a total of about $574m if the naira portion is converted to US Dollars. This in essence means almost half of the original loan of $1.2bn, has been repaid.
“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.
On July 4, 2017, a new board was appointed at Etisalat Nigeria, to handle the smooth transition of the telecommunications company after a reallocation of shares.
Boye Olusanya, former deputy managing director of Celtel Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria), was appointed as the chief executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria to over see the transition.