IHS Towers admits Etisalat Nigeria owes it USD8.5 million


Since the debt revelations of Etisalat Nigeria came to public light, IHS Towers, a telecom cell site company also affected by the company’s piling debt has made a disclosure.

IHS Towers is said to be owed six months of cell site lease fees which in the end can end up complicating matters for the comoany and its bondholders.

Last week, Fitch Ratings issued a rating opinion warning that inability of Etisalat to pay its debt will not only hurt local and international banks involved but a contagious issue for IHS Netherlands Holdco B.V., holding company of IHS Towers.

In its own defense and plans on the matter IHS Netherlands Holdco B.V. issued a statement recently that:

“IHS Netherlands Holdco B.V. (the “Company”) and its subsidiaries (together, the “Group”) have become aware of certain press reports relating to Etisalat. In terms of the recent news, the Company is aware of the conversations between the banks and Etisalat”.

“In line with previous disclosures, we do experience volatility in terms of timing of settlement of invoices with certain customers. We have a strong relationship with Etisalat and it has continued to make some payments under our Master Lease Agreements. As of 31 December 2016, US$8.5 million was more than 120 days overdue from Etisalat. This amount represents less than 2.5% of the expected proforma full year combined revenue of the Group for 2016”.

“As the Company is still in the process of finalizing its audited consolidated financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016 (“FY 2016 Results”), the information contained in this announcement is only based on a preliminary assessment by management according to the unaudited consolidated management accounts of the Group and the currently available information, which have not been audited or reviewed by the Company’s auditor. It is expected that the FY 2016 Results will be announced on or around 27 April 2017, in accordance with the terms of the Indenture relating to the Notes dated 27 October 2016”.

“We continue to monitor the situation and will continue to pursue our contractual rights in collecting the outstanding amounts. Any further announcements will be made as and when appropriate”.

Other banks involved in the debt matter have further revealed the total amount. As a result of the overdue debt Fitch said it assigned B+/Negative to IHS Towers bearing in mind that the company faces a limited risk in relation to Etisalat Nigeria.

IHS Towers has built over 23,000 cell sites across emerging markets.

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