US firm gets clearance to buy 723 Telkom Kenya towers


CAK director general Wang’ombe Kariuki. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya (CAK) has cleared the transfer of 723 telecommunication towers that Telkom Kenya own to American Tower Corporation (ATC), paving the way for the US multinational to gain a foothold in the country.

American Tower Corporation in May said it had reached an agreement to acquire the towers for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, the two firms expected to complete in the first half of this year, will give the multinational a presence in Kenya, nearly a decade after making its foray into East Africa through similar acquisitions in Uganda and Tanzania.

“The Competition Authority of Kenya authorises the proposed acquisition…of 97.2 per cent of Telkom Kenya Limited towers by American Tower Corporation (ATC) Kenya Operations Limited,” said CAK director general Wang’ombe Kariuki in a gazette notice published last Friday.

Telkom Kenya did not disclose the value of the transaction. The deal is, however, expected to enable third-placed Telkom Kenya to use the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet.

READ: US firm to acquire Telkom Kenya communication sites

“The sale will release capital for further investment in our 4G network and a number of state-of-the-art IT platforms, all of which will further enhance services for our customers,” Telkom Kenya chief executive Aldo Mareuse said on May 7 in a statement.

The telco said earlier its five-year strategy is to invest Sh15.2 billion ($150 million) in its 3G and 4G networks as well as mobile financial services and customer experience.

The American telecommunication firm operates long-term lease arrangements with its partners. It entered into a pact with MTN Group of South Africa in 2011 to establish a joint venture tower company in Uganda.