Leading telecommunciations industry service providers in Kenya, Airtel and Kenya will be merging.
Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya have now officially made public the commencement of merger plans amidst long running rumors on the same. The two carriers are presumed to have agreed to merge their mobile, carrier and enterprise services.
The two will operate under a single entity named Airtel-Telkom if and when regulatory approvals allow.
Under the deal, the firms said in a statement, Telkom Kenya’s real estate portfolio and specific government services will not form part of the combined entity.
“The final shareholding will be determined at the closing of the transaction. Telkom Kenya has the option of holding up to 49 per cent of that shareholding,” they said.
Telkom’s current CEO Mugo Kibati will serve as the Chairman of the entity to be formed. On the other hand, Airtel Kenya’s Chief Executive Prasanta Sarma will have his hat bumped up to CEO of Airtel-Telkom.
Latest data from Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) covering three months to September showed, Airtel the Kenyan subsidiary of Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, had a market share of 22.3 per cent while Telkom had nine per cent.
Telkom Kenya is majority owned (60 per cent) by the UK-based private equity firm Helios Investment Partners. The Kenyan government owns 40 per cent.
It will be interesting to monitor and observe the difference that this merger has on the telecommunications industry, the effect that it will have on market dynamics and the steps that leading service provider Safaricom will take to match this move.