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Safaricom closes Yu acquisition

Kenyan operator Safaricom has received final regulatory approval for its acquisition of assets from Essar Telecommunications Kenya.

The $80 million deal has been described as “the largest of its kind in the telecoms sector in Kenya”, and will transfer Essar’s passive network infrastructure and spectrum to Safaricom along with 150 staff.

Subscribers of Essar’s Kenyan unit (branded as Yu) will be transferred to Airtel Africa, as stipulated by the terms of the deal. Adding Yu’s 2.4 million subscribers to its existing 5.5 million will bolster Airtel’s position but it will still be second place in the market to Safaricom, which has 22.3 million connections.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore stated: “I am confident that our customers in both urban and rural areas will benefit from the anticipated improvement of the quality of service on both voice and data services as we switch on more of our acquired capacity.”


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