American Tower Corp demands cash from Telkom Kenya

American Tower Corp demands cash from Telkom Kenya

American Tower Corporation (ATC) demanded a down payment of KES500 million (US$3.26 million) and KES150 million per month from Telkom Kenya, in order to switch on the 246 cell sites it shut down seven months ago due to debt owed by the operator. 

Business Daily reported, Telkom Kenya’s debt has increased from KES4 billion in May to KES7.1 billion as of October, and the debt accrues interest charges at a rate of KES300 million per month.

ATC Kenya CEO Thomas Sonesson blasted Telkom Kenya for breaching a contract entered in 2018 at Kenya’s Senate ICT Committee. The chief executive added the tower company had put on hold several investment projects in Kenya due to the debt and is currently unable to meet obligations and including operating costs. 

ATC Kenya had been paying VAT to the total of KES50 million per month since January which stems from invoices sent to Telkom Kenya that have yet to be paid, the tower company claimed. 

“We have not been paid since January this year. This led to the event we decided to disconnect 900 out of the 1,000 leases that we have with Telkom Kenya. When I sent an invoice of KES300 million linked to the leaseback to Telkom Kenya, there is a KES50 million VAT that we are required to pay to Kenya Revenue Authority,” said Sonesson.

Telkom Kenya said it was not able to pay the debt and is in need of an investor to clear its bills, reported Business Daily. The Kenyan government had reportedly backed out of buying shares in Telkom Kenya two months ago. 

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