American Tower Corporation will acquire up to 723 of Telkom Kenya’s transmission towers in a deal expected to be concluded in the second half of this year, allowing Telkom to invest in its internet network, the two companies said on Monday.
The sale by Telkom Kenya, which is Kenya’s third-biggest telecoms company by users and 60 percent owned by London-based Helios Investment Partners, takes American Tower Corp into its fifth African country and 17th worldwide. However, neither company disclosed the price agreed.
Telkom Kenya’s Board Chair, Eddy Njoroge stated that Telkom Kenya was delighted to have signed the agreement with ATC and looked forward to a close collaboration between the two companies.
“The Board of TKL has made it clear that our objective is to transform Telkom into a business which has a reputation for excellence in terms of the quality and reliability of its network. This agreement, in which we will be partnering with a leading global tower company, will enhance the quality and reliability of our network to the benefit of our customers.”
– Telkom Kenya’s Board Chair, Eddy Njoroge
William H. Hess, ATC President of EMEA and Latin America stated, “We are excited to announce the launch of operations in Kenya through our agreement to acquire TKL’s towers. This represents American Tower’s 17th market globally, and our fifth in Africa, and we look forward to helping expand the reach of mobile broadband throughout the country. Kenya is a very attractive market, and we have high expectations for its long-term growth potential.”
“The network availability and service levels we have agreed with ATC are world class and this agreement represents another important step towards the transformation of this business and the service levels we deliver to our customers. Telkom will now focus on its core function – the provision of quality telecommunications services to our customers. In addition, 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 as they demand higher quality and speed from our mobile data networks as well as a richer range of services.”
– Aldo Mareuse, CEO of Telkom Kenya
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
Telkom Kenya and the local unit of Indian-owned Bharti Airtel have a combined 23 percent of Kenya’s 41 million mobile subscribers but have long struggled to compete with Safaricom, the sector leader with a 71.9 percent market share.
Last month, Reuters reported that Telkom Kenya and Bharti Airtel’s local units plan to merge some operations as a first step as Telkom plans to acquire all of Airtel’s Kenyan assets.