Kenya’s National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has said that the government plans to buy back twelve million shares in Telkom Kenya, equivalent to a 10% stake, in a move that would raise its total shareholding to 40%. Last month France’s Orange Group announced the signing of an agreement with African private equity firm Helios Investment Partners for the sale of its entire 70% stake in Telkom. The Nation newspaper cites Rotich as saying that a new shareholding agreement between the government and Helios Investment Partners will be ready by the end of the year, paving the way for Orange Group to exit Telkom Kenya. He added that the deal will usher in a new board that will restructure the telco’s top management: ‘We need top managers with a clear strategy for the company. As Telkom Kenya’s ownership changes by January, we should expect fresh leadership.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the government’s shareholding in Telkom dropped from 49% to 30% on a permanent basis in June 2013 (thereby raising Orange Group’s ownership to 70%), following a decision by the National Treasury not to allocate any funds to the financially stricken firm. The Treasury’s stake in Telkom had initially dropped to 30% in December 2012 after the government only paid up KES2.5 billion (USD24.1 million) of the KES4.9 billion it was expected to inject into the firm to preserve its shareholding.