Fresh speculation links MTN to Yu

3 Nov 2010

At this week’s launch event for new broadband firm MTN Business Kenya, speculation was rife that the MTN management team are planning to invest in a wireless business to complement its recently acquired broadband provider UUNet (now MTN Business Kenya), AllAfrica reports. However, Angela Gahagan, managing executive of MTN Business Africa, remained tight-lipped on the subject, admitting: ‘I’m not aware of such plans. However, the group is always looking for opportunities for growth’.

South Africa-based MTN has made no secret of its desire to enter the Kenyan telecoms market in recent years, but the mobile phone sector has thus far proved resistant to its overtures. In 2007 MTN was among the companies that bid for a 51% stake in Telkom Kenya, eventually losing out to France Telecom, which now operates the Orange brand in Kenya. Subsequently, MTN was rumoured to be in the running for Zain Africa, which operates Kenya’s second largest mobile network by subscribers, only to be beaten by India’s Bharti Airtel. Rumours suggest that MTN now has Essar Telecom Kenya, which operates under the Yu brand, in its sights as a potential acquisition.

Kenya, Essar Telecom Kenya (yu), MTN Group