TELECOMS

CELTEL WINS THE RACE TO BUY KENYA’S SECOND MOBILE OPERATOR KENCELL

Pan-continental mobile operator Celtel has beaten South Africa’s MTN in the race to acquire a 60% stake in Kencell. The USD250 million (Sh18 billion) deal was announced last week at a press conference attended by Mo Ibrahim, the chairman of Celtel International. Celtel’s acquisition of the majority stake in KenCell has been facilitated by the exit of French telecommunication firm, Vivendi from the Kenyan market.

The acquisition package includes a promise to take up the company’s shareholder debt as well as developing the business. The founding local partner, the Sameer Group will retain its 40 per cent equity in the firm. Celtel is funding the acquisition through a combination of new equity from existing and new shareholders, funds raised from asset disposals and debt. Celtel has become East Africa’s only regional operator covering Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

East African Standard

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