Airtel-Telkom merger suspended over anti-corruption concerns

28 Aug 2019

The planned merger between Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya – as agreed in February this year – has been stalled by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) after intervention from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). Local news site Business Daily quotes Christopher Wambua, the CA director in charge of communications and public affairs, as saying: ‘We have advised the parties that, in light of government shareholding in Telkom Kenya, approval shall only be granted once all the conditions set out by the Authority are fulfilled and the transaction is cleared by the EACC.’

In a letter dated 14 August 2019, EACC boss Twalib Mbarak asked the CA to stop the merger pending its inquiry into how the deal to merge the two telcos was brokered. The EACC is also separately investigating whether public funds were misappropriated when the cabinet approved a 2012 plan to convert the treasury’s loans in Telkom Kenya into equity as part of a plan to recapitalise and restructure the telco’s balance sheet.

Kenya, Airtel Kenya, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Telkom Kenya