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Bharti Airtel unit to merge with Telkom Kenya

Mna News - Published on Mon, 11 Feb 2019

Image Source: NDTV Gadgets
ET Telecom reported that Bharti Airtel said its unit Airtel Networks Kenya and Telkom Kenya have signed a pact to merge operations, which will help the Sunil Mittal-led telco emerge stronger in the east African market. It will also improve overall valuation in the runup to its initial public offer in Africa, likely in May-June.

After completion of the deal, the two companies will merge mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses in Kenya (subject to approval) to operate as Airtel-Telkom, which will “invest in networks to further accelerate rollout of future technologies,” said an Airtel statement on Friday. No financial details were provided. Telkom Kenya is 60% owned by UK private equity firm Helios Investment Partners and the rest by the Kenyan government.

It’s the third largest telco in that country, with over 5 million users, behind market leader Safaricom with over 30 million and Airtel Kenya, with over 10 million customers. The combined entity will have over 31% customer market share, compared with Safaricom’s 60%-plus. As of September, Airtel Kenya voice and mobile data traffic shares were 33.3% and 21.9%, respectively.

Airtel said that “The enterprise and carrier services businesses should benefit from a larger fibre footprint and an increased number of enterprise customers, including both large corporations and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) which would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions."

The Airtel-Telkom Kenya deal follows Airtel Africa recently raising $1.25 billion (about INR 9,200 crore) by concluding a placement of shares to six global investors, followed by another placement worth $200 million to Qatar Investment Authority. The IPO is expected to garner an additional USD 1.5-1.6 billion.

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Posted By : TelecomGuru on Mon, 11 Feb 2019
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