Etisalat Nigeria Rebrands: 9Mobile Approved
Etisalat Nigeria is dead and 9Mobile is alive.
Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigeria Communications Commission has approved the new name and look.
Etisalat said that NCC has been notified of the new name, 9mobile, adding that Etisalat Nigeria has started the process of rebranding.
The company is due to unveil the new brand today.
"Etisalat Nigeria wishes to inform its over 20 million subscribers, government, regulatory agencies ... the telecommunication company has changed its name to 9mobile," 9mobile said.
The move is to ensure the continuity of Nigeria's fourth largest telecom operator, it added in a statement.
Recall that Etisalat Nigeria had been in talks with some commercial banks it owes on how to restructure a $1.2 billion debt after it missed repayment deadlines.
But the discussions failed to produce a deal, forcing the banks to step in.
As a result, UAE's Etisalat – the parent company of Etisalat Nigeria - terminated its management agreement with its Nigerian business in June and gave it three weeks to phase out the brand after it had to surrender its 45% stake.
Under Nigeria's telecoms law, the NCC has to approve a transfer of telecoms licences or any new investor in a telecoms company with more than 10% of the shares.
Etisalat Nigeria's lenders have now taken control and appointed a new team to manage the company with a focus on getting it back to profitability while working to eventually raise new capital.