ECONET LOCAL PARTNERS GIVEN MORE TIME TO COMPLETE KENYA LICENSING FINANCE

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Mobile service provider, Econet Wireless Kenya (EWK), has been granted 30 more days to complete payment of its license fee. Sammy Kirui, the Director General of the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), said Econet Wireless International (EWI) had paid its part of the deal amounting to USD15 million.

The extension, he said, was only meant to give EWI's local partners - Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC), Corporate Africa and Rapsel Limited -- time to pay their USD12 million part of the fee. The total license fee is USD27 million (Sh2.16 billion). "The extension has been granted to enable the consortium meet its part of the deal," Kirui told Journalist at a workshop on "Universal Access to ICTs in Nairobi."

EWK, the company that won the bid for Kenya's third mobile service provider, is a joint venture between the South Africa-based Econet Wireless International and the local consortium.

Kirui said EWI had expressed readiness to acquire the local consortium's stake, should it fail to pay the USD12 million within the 30 days.

Signs of Econet Wireless Kenya's failure to beat the October 18 deadline as laid down by CCK were evident in late August when Econet Wireless International's major financier, Allied Technologies Limited - Altech - withdrew its support for the deal. The South African Telco-investment institution cited unclear telecommunication policies in Kenya and unfavorable investment climate within the industry. The financier had earlier this year committed itself to pumping in some Sh5.3 billion in Econet Wireless International (EWI).

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