According to AllAfrica.com, Indian conglomerate the Essar Group has denied international media reports suggesting that it is looking to sell off its 70% stake in Kenyan mobile operator Essar Telecom Kenya (ETK), which operates under the ‘Yu’ brand. The Essar Group hit back at the claims – which originated with India’s Economic Times earlier this week – commenting: ‘Essar remains committed to the African market and is satisfied with its operations in Kenya. It is not evaluating any sell off options’. The original report coincided with the Essar Group’s admission that it has pulled out of a long-standing agreement to acquire telecoms assets in Uganda and the Republic of Congo. An unnamed source, with knowledge of the matter, suggested that the Indian firm no longer viewed telecoms as a core strategic interest.
Speculation was rife that South African telecoms giant MTN – a company with a long-held interest in securing a foothold the Kenyan wireless sector – was interested in buying out ETK. MTN is now believed to have distanced itself from the rumours.