Technology firm AccessKenya says it hopes to acquire part of Todays Online, another Internet service provider, but is awaiting regulatory approval. The company plans to take over a number of leased line customers from the smaller firm. The deal, which does not include dial-up customers, comes just weeks after AccessKenya raised Sh800 million by listing a 40 per cent stake.

"AccessKenya Group went public to raise capital to fund our expansion, and we had specifically told the market that making acquisitions would be an important part of our strategy," Managing Director  Jonathan Somen said in a statement. "It made sense for both parties to consummate this transaction having had a relationship over a number of years."

Both companies lease Internet bandwidth and AccessKenya has said it plans to provide broadband access to homes in the near future. The exact value of the transaction was not disclosed but consists of an up-front payment and a future payment based on the successful migration of the customers to AccessKenya's network. The Monopolies Commission must approve the deal.

Todays Online is estimated to have between 100 and 200 leased line customers. Todays Online managing director, Milton Njanja, further announced that his company would continue to provide its ISP services to AccessKenya for at least the next nine months.

He added that, following discussions, the company's board felt that the interests of Todays Online customers would be best served by transferring their connections to AccessKenya's network, which has better speeds and hence higher value for money.

AccessKenya shares closed Wednesday's trading at Sh13.85 compared with the previous close of Sh13.35.

(SOURCE: East African Standard)