Companies

Safaricom gets approval to sell yuMobile masts

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Safaricom’s subsidiary, the East Africa Tower Limited, says it was on Friday allowed to disposing of 30 masts out of the 453 it acquired from Essar. PHOTO | FILE

Summary

  • In 2014, Eaton Towers acquired over 3,500 towers in six countries across Africa,  where Bharti Airtel has presence , with Airtel having a 10-year lease contract.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has given Safaricom approval to dispose of some of the telecommunications masts it acquired from the yuMobile owners in a joint buyout in 2015.

Safaricom’s subsidiary, the East Africa Tower Limited, says it was on Friday allowed to disposing of 30 masts out of the 453 it acquired from Essar Limited to Kenya Towers Limited the owner of yuMobile.

The Business Daily could not confirm the value of the transaction with Safaricom.

“East Africa Tower Ltd is fully owned subsidiary of Safaricom Limited which was used as a special purpose vehicle to acquire 453 masts from Essar Limited in 2015. The current transaction that has received approval from CAK refers to the disposal of 30 masts to Kenya Tower Limited,” said Steve Chege, Safaricom director for corporate affairs.

READ: Airtel permit expired, using Essar licence

Tower firms have been eyeing the Africa market for acquisition or under the leaseback arrangement.

The leading tower firms include Helios Towers and Eaton towers.

In 2014, Eaton Towers acquired over 3,500 towers in six countries across Africa,  where Bharti Airtel has presence , with Airtel having a 10-year lease contract.

In June 2013 Telkom Kenya signed an agreement with Eaton Towers for the management of its passive network infrastructure.

The fifteen-year tower management and leasing deal was focused on both the maintenance of existing sites by Eaton Towers and the building of new sites.

Under the agreement Telkom Kenya retained ownership of its existing portfolio of over 1,000 towers while Eaton Towers was tasked with investing in passive infrastructure upgrades and building new towers to provide Telkom Kenya with improved coverage and network quality.