Helios Investment Partners is moving quickly to turnaround the freshly acquired Telkom Kenya, according to media reports.
The UK private equity firm, which closed the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in the operator last week, will stick with the Orange brand used by Telkom Kenya, said The Star.
Orange previously held a 70 per cent stake in the Kenyan operator. In addition to the Helios stake, it sold a 10 per cent interest to the country’s government, whose stake is now 40 per cent. The size of the transaction was not revealed.
Telkom Kenya will hold onto the Orange brand for at least 18 months, as Helios seeks to galvanise its performance.
According to GSMA Intelligence, the operator has 5 million subscribers, lagging both Airtel (7.4 million subscribers) and local powerhouse Safaricom, which dominates the market with 25 million subscribers (Q1 2016 figures).
The established operators also face a threat from Equitel, a mobile banking-led MVNO.
However, Helios is moving quickly to shake up Telkom Kenya’s management by appointing Aldo Mareuse as CEO, according to Business Daily. Mareuse was group chief financial officer of Orascom Telecom and Wind Telecom from 2002 to 2011. He takes over from Vincent Lobry, who held the top post at Telkom Kenya from September 2014.
In addition, John Barorot, a former Safaricom chief technical and information officer (CTIO), replaces Jean Marie Garcia. The role of CFO is also in line for change, although no replacement for incumbent Francois Bresson has been announced. A company announcement about appointments is expected later this week. Chairman Eddy Njoroge retains his position.