What a carve up! Struggling yu subject to bids from Safaricom and Airtel

27 Feb 2014

According to an unconfirmed report by Standard Media, Indian conglomerate Essar Group has received bids of up to KES8.5 billion (USD96.7 million) for an unspecified stake in Essar Telecom Kenya, which trades as ‘yu’. While it was initially anticipated that a strategic investor capable of major investment would be secured by the Indian cellco, it now appears that larger rivals Safaricom and Airtel Kenya have each lodged bids for the unit, with a view to dividing up its network infrastructure and frequencies.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last month, yu chief executive Madhur Taneja told the local media: ‘We are talking to several international firms and it is very difficult to give names at this particular stage due to confidentiality agreements.’ At that time initial investment of USD100 million was expected to be used to bankroll the cellco’s long-delayed 3G rollout, while a further USD150 million was also being sought in the short term to meet running costs and capital expenditure targets.

Kenya, Airtel Kenya, Essar Telecom Kenya (yu), Safaricom