Helios Investment Partners and Orange are reportedly close to reaching a deal for the sale of the latter’s stake in Telkom Kenya.
Orange is has for some time been aiming to divest all or part of its 70% stake in the Kenyan operator, with Helios reportedly angling for a 51% majority holding. Orange has not disclosed whether it would retain its leftover stake in the operator if Helios does not acquire the full 70%.
The Kenyan government holds a 30% stake in Telkom Kenya, and is currently mulling over whether to sell all or part of this. National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said: “We will begin to come on board before the end of this month, discussions on the shares will be concluded as per the direction the talks are taking.”
Other firms have bid for a stake in Telkom Kenya in the past – including Vietnamese operator Viettel in 2014 – but they have fallen through. Orange was evidently optimistic upon receiving a bid from Helios, telling the Kenyan government that it considered the firm to be a “serious buyer”.
With around 4 million connections, Telkom Kenya trails behind Airtel and Safaricom, the latter of which leads the market with over 24 million connections.