Orange Formally Exits Kenya Market with Majority Stake Sale to Helios

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Hot on the heels of the announcement by the Kenyan government that it would be adding an extra 10% more stake in mobile network operator Telkom Kenya, Helios has made the announcement that they have closed the Telkom Kenya acquisition. Helios Investment Partners today announced that Jamhuri Holdings Limited, a company fully owned by Helios Investors III has concluded the acquisition of 60% shareholding in Telkom Kenya. The initial plan was for Helios to acquire the whole 70% stake owned by Orange East Africa S.A (OrEA).

Orange East Africa which previously owned 70% of Telkom Kenya is exiting the market after years of unsuccesfully trying to turn a profit in the telecommunications space. 10% stake will be transferred to the Kenya government which will increase it’s stake from 30% to 40%. This was coupled with 40% debt purchase that Telkom Kenya owed Orange at a total price of 2 Kshs for both.

The acquisition process which already received regulatory approval by both Communications Authority and Competition Authority has since received Cabinet approval which was the pending bit. Helios has already completed a radical workforce surgery that saw the company send off some 500 employees. The company is also on a hiring spree for top level management specifically for the mobile money product.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr Henry K. Rotich, commenting on the transaction said “We have seen the positive impact of Helios’ investments in other sectors of our economy and we hope and trust that their investment in TKL will have a transformative impact on the operations and standing of the company. We wish Helios well and look forward to interacting further, as we seek to find ways on how best we can achieve our mutual objective of growing TKL into a sustainable and prosperous business.”

Telkom Kenya Limited is third by market share after Safaricom and Airtel Kenya and this acquisition seeks to transform the company into a profitable one.

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