BT leads race for Telkom

3 Jul 2007

The BT Group of the UK has emerged as the front runner in the race to acquire a stake in Kenya’s state-controlled fixed line operator, Telkom. Business Daily Africa reports that BT has joined with Libyan investors to create a consortium which is bidding for a 40% interest in the national PTO. The stake is valued at KES5.6 billion (USD84 million). Following a meeting with the UK telco, an unnamed Treasury official commented: ‘The consortium led by BT is the team to beat. They have a credible technical group and have the finances.’ Other firms linked with the 40% stake include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Tata Holdings of India, plus Dubai-based Vtel, which was awarded Kenya’s second national operator licence last year but was unable to find the financing to pay the licence fee. The Kenyan government has tried to privatise Telkom in the past but has failed to attract a suitable buyer.

Kenya, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Telkom Kenya