Airtel Kenya has announced that it has signed an agreement with Telkom Kenya to merge their respective mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses as Airtel-Telkom.
Last month, three industry sources had told Reuters that Bharti Airtel was in talks to buy Telkom Kenya, to create a stronger challenger to market leader Safaricom.
The companies will combine their respective mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses in Kenya to operate as Airtel-Telkom, Airtel said, without revealing further details.
The deal announced on Friday means shareholders of the two companies will agree to merge their respective mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses in Kenya to operate under a joint venture company.
However, Telkom Kenya’s real estate portfolio and specific government services will not be part of the new combined entity.
The two firms will see no immediate changes in their operations or respective leadership and management, legal, organisational and staffing structures.
Both brands, Airtel and Telkom, as well as their respective products and solutions, will continue to co-exist.
Similarly, it is expected that service delivery to the respective companies’ customers, as well as engagement with all business partners of both companies, will continue as usual.
“This move is well aligned with the government’s agenda to optimise the value of the assets that it holds in trust on behalf of Kenyans while cementing the country’s position not only as a regional business hub but also as an international investment magnet,” said Kenya’s National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.
The final shareholding will be determined at the close of the transaction. Telkom Kenya has the option of holding up to 49 per cent of that stake.
The new company will be chaired by Telkom Kenya Ltd’s chief executive officer Mugo Kibati, while Airtel Networks Kenya chief executive Prasanta Sarma will be chief executive officer.
The closure of the transaction is subject to approvals by the relevant authorities.