Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB), Zenith Bank Plc, the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and 10 other banks have arranged a total of $1.2 billion Medium Term Facility (MTF) for Etisalat Nigeria.
Other banks involved in the deal are First Bank of Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Ecobank, Keystone Bank, First City Monument Bank Plc, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria. UBA Trustees is the Trustees for the facility.
The seven year financing deal is divided into two tranches. The syndicated loan would be used to refinance an existing $650 million loan and bolster Etisalat Nigeria's network expansion in the country. The company also said the fund would support it ambition to introduce innovative products and services to its over fifteen million subscribers.
A breakdown of the amount showed that Zenith Bank, being the lead arranger and major contributor to the facility raised about $245 million in tranche A and would also raise another $30 million in tranche B for the telecommunication company. Also, UBA contributed N24.3 billion to the deal.
Commenting on the transaction, the Chairman, Etisalat, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie described the feat as another step in the company's development.
According to him:"Etisalat Nigeria has grown from strength to strength reaching 15 million subscribers earlier this year. This loan is a testament to the robust strategy of the company and the faith of the banking community. It will serve to further boost the company and the telecommunications sector. It is important to also note the enabling environment created by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria as well as the National Communications Commission."
He stressed that Etisalat Nigeria had benefited from the experience and support of its pioneer shareholders; Etisalat Group, Mubadala and Myacynth.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans said: "We are delighted with the continued support and confidence shown by so many banking partners. They have shown great faith in the company and we view that as a sign of their endorsement of Etisalat Nigeria's strategy and execution capabilities. We aim to continue to focus on our network expansion, our investment in 3G, as well as ensuring we offer the uncompromising network quality and customer service our subscribers have come to expect from us."
Similarly, the Chief Finance Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Andrew Kemp said: "The company is further encouraged not only by the steadfast support of the eight banks that have been a part of our original consortium but also by the addition of new partner banks. This truly represents a vote of confidence in our results thus far and our plans for expansion."
In an interview with journalists, the Divisional Head, Corporate and Commercial Banking at FCMB, Mr. Ola Olabinjo said: "For us in FCMB, one of the cardinal concepts is to support any financing scheme that will impact positively on the economy and society."