Telkom Kenya sale talks head for home stretch

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Negotiations on the sale of Telkom Kenya will be concluded by the end of this month as the government comes aboard to ascertain its position in the firm.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich Tuesday told the Nation that the authorities would then determine whether it will retain its 30 per cent stake in the telco or sell part of it.

“We will begin to come on board before end of this month, discussions on the shares will be concluded as per the direction the talks are taking,” said Mr Rotich. “We will meet the investors. As our new partners, they will have to lay bare what they bring to the table.”

The winning bidder will share its business proposal, complete with the strategy, with the government. One must also have the technical and financial muscle to run a mobile service firm.

MOST INTERESTED

Helios Investment Partners is among the most interested in the 70 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya owned by France Telecom. The private equity firm could be targeting 51 per cent of the struggling telco.

The government could then retain a 29 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya (Orange), with France Telecom holding onto 20 per cent.

The sealing of the deal will bring to an end discussions that have been on and off for five years.

News of the intended exit of France Telecom from Africa broke in March last year. The deal now puts the mobile operator’s Sh250 million-a-year contract awarded by the government to manage the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (Nofbi) cable, in the balance.

Telecommunication Service Providers of Kenya CEO Fiona Asonga, who is involved in Nofbi discussions, told the Nation that phase two of the project could only be executed by Telkom Kenya, noting that ongoing deals on the buyout had put the project at a standstill.
Source: Daily Nation 16 September 2015