Watchdog delays Airtel, Telkom Kenya merger - Mobile World Live

Watchdog delays Airtel, Telkom Kenya merger

26 SEP 2019

Airtel and Telkom Kenya faced a delay to completing a planned merger, after an anti-corruption watchdog pushed back the deadline for completing its investigation of the deal.

The companies aimed to close the transaction by 27 September, however the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) instructed regulators to suspend the merger until it finishes its assessment.

Airtel and Telkom Kenya are the second- and third-largest operators in the country, respectively. The merger would boost their competitive edge against market-leader Safaricom, by reducing operating costs and increasing economies of scale.

EACC’s move is the latest stumbling block for the deal, which was first announced in February.

In March, a committee in Kenya’s National Assembly said the deal had “all the hallmarks of a scandal” noting it enabled private individuals to acquire a public company “through the backdoor for a song”.

A month later, Telkom Kenya announced it would not take on Airtel’s debt as part of the deal, a factor Safaricom later picked up on as it urged regulators to closely scrutinise the deal.



Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

Read more