Telkom Kenya has announced it has abandoned plans to merge its mobile, enterprise and wholesale businesses with Airtel Kenya, due to ‘challenges experienced in getting all the approvals required to complete the transaction’. The proposed merger, which was first announced in February 2019, was aimed at creating a stronger challenger – to be known as Airtel-Telkom – to market leader Safaricom. After evaluating the available options, Telkom says it has now adopted an alternative strategic direction to strengthen its position within the market and to establish itself as an essential digital player. In a separate statement, Airtel said that ‘the transaction has gone through a very lengthy process which has led the parties to reconsider their stance’.
Telkom is 60%-owned by Helios Investment Partners, with the remainder held by the government, while Airtel Kenya is wholly owned by Airtel Africa.