Sources at Etisalat Nigeria office has revealed that the expected brand name change has been approved for the company which recently has been in the news following situations arising from debt infringement by the company. Etisalat Nigeria had already repaid $500 million of $1.2 billion in loans owed to banks before it defaulted in February due to a currency devaluation.
The company has agreed to adopt the name 9Mobile to replace its brand name ‘Etisalat Nigeria’ which was generated from the majority share owners of the company, Abu Dhabi- based Etisalat Group.
According to the source which told eBusiness Life that although the brand name change has been approved, the management is yet to make a public statement on it.
Both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), telecoms regulator and the company’s management had assured its customers that the changes in the company will not disrupt its services.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian company, floated by Emerging Market Telecommunications Service (EMTS) was handed a quick order to change the brand name owned by Etisalat Group, which pulled out from the company’s shareholding over the company’s inability to service the $1.2 billion loan facility acquired from a consortium of banks. Etisalat Group had 45 percent share in Etisalat Nigeria, making it the majority shareholder and technical operators of the company.
The Etisalat Group had, on June 20, 2017, filled for a change in shareholding notice at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
The stake withdrawal by the foreign investor now means that the company will be shopping for other investors. However, there has been unconfirmed talks of interest coming from billionaire industrialist, Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga, owner of Globacom, a wholly indigenous telecommunication company which is positioned 3rd in the Nigerian market, just ahead of Etisalat Nigeria.
As part of the debt restructuring agreement with the consortium of banks, the telecom company recently changed its Board of Directors and top management team, appointing Dr. Joseph Nnanna as new Chairman of the Board and Mr. Boye Olusanya as the new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO). Dr. Nwanna was the Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability). Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The rebranding process for Etisalat Nigeria will see it change its running audio visual, print and outdoor adverts and replacement of the brand and logo with the adopted 9Mobile brand. This is expected to cost the company a huge chunk of its revenue.