" ITREALMS: MTN gets N249.8bn facility from 21 bank consortium


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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

MTN gets N249.8bn facility from 21 bank consortium

Leading telecommunications company in the country, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, yesterday in Lagos got a facility of US$2 billion, about (N249,800,000,000) from a consortium made up of 21 foreign and Nigerian banks and financial institutions.

At a formal signing ceremony held in Lagos Wednesday, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmad Farroukh, reaffirmed the telco’s resolve to continuously be a player in fostering Nigeria’s economic growth and development through provision of excellent telecommunications and allied services.

He noted that the facility is another vote of confidence on MTN and its Nigerian operation particularly.

“The loan represents a strong vote of confidence in our operation and our organisation. We see this as a demonstration of the confidence that particularly the Nigerian financial sub-sector has placed in MTN to deliver value to both our customers and the Nigerian economy with 80 per cent of the facility being Naira denominated. We are also thankful to the millions of MTN customers across Nigeria whose loyal patronage has helped to make this possible,“ he asserted.

Mr. Farroukh also said that the facility, which is the largest loan syndication to any individual telecommunications company in Africa.

The facility coordinated globally by the Standard Bank Group of South Africa, he said, has been subdivided into a US Dollar denominated segment comprising $400 million, a Naira denominated N142 billion mid-term facility and another Naira denominated N63 billion-revolver facility, respectively.

“IBTC Chartered, Nigerian subsidiary of Standard Bank, is the local lead arranger,” he informed.

Chief Executive, IBTC Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mr. Atedo Peterside, said that the timing in concluding this particular deal and the announcement is important to us as a newly formed entity resulting from the successful merger between IBTC Chartered and Stanbic Bank Nigeria.

“We are delighted to be part of the Standard Bank Group and to be working with the leading telecommunications operator in Nigeria,” he declared.

Also speaking, the Director Telecoms and Media Africa at Standard Bank, Heloise Smith, said that given the vast experience of Standard Bank in advising and funding telecommunications projects across the continent gave the boost for them to embrace the opportunity to once again partner with MTN to facilitate further growth in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

With a presence in all of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja, MTN’s coverage currently spans some 89 per cent of Nigeria ’s total landmass. It has installed in excess of 2,800 base stations, 45 mobile switching centres and over 50 base station controllers across Nigeria.

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