Airtel calls off merger with Telecom Kenya


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Comserve Inc.

Aug 07, 2020, 12:00 EST


Bronx, United States, Aug 07, 2020, 12:00 /Comserve / -- Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd which is the African subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has decided to call off the merger that was to take place with Telkom Kenya Ltd.

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Nairobi, Aug 5th 2020 -- Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd which is the African subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has decided to call off the merger that was to take place with Telkom Kenya Ltd. The reasons for calling off the deal were challenges to secure regulatory approvals for the deal, as notified to the London Stock Exchange where Airtel Africa Plc was listed last year.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa agrees that Kenya is a large and growing market and that the company was always committed to building a growing profitable business. Airtel in Kenya saw almost 14 million customers, and in the last quarter, revenue numbers raised by double-digits in constant currency in the African country.

According to Airtel Africa, the transaction with Telkom has gone through a very lengthy process which made both the parties reconsider their stance on the issue. As a result, both companies have mutually decided to no longer pursue the completion of the transaction.

Just a year back, the merger between Airtel Kenya and Telkom was stalled after the nation’s Anti-Corruption Commission had reportedly suspended the deal. This was because of an ongoing probe into allegations of misappropriation of public funds at Telkom. After Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) began investigating allegations of misappropriation, recapitalisation and restructuring of balance sheets, the deal was completely stalled. Had the deal taken place, it would have created Kenya’s largest telco by beating Safaricom which accounts for around 60% of the market.

Telkom Kenya is owned 60% by a UK private equity firm known as Helios Investment Partners. The remaining 40% of it is owned by Kenyan government. Telkom, who is a strong competitor of low broadband prices, was the first in the world to launch internet service to rural areas using balloons. This was done in partnership with Alphabet’s Loon.

About Airtel Africa:

Airtel Africa, with its presence in 14 countries in Africa, is one of the leading providers of mobile money and telecommunication services. It serves primarily in the locations of East Africa, Central and West Africa. The Company also offers a whole host of telecommunication solutions which include mobile voice and data services.

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