14 January 2016

Kenya: Telkom Gets Second Chance

editorial

The stage has been set for yet another attempt to turn around the fortunes of the financially struggling Telkom Kenya, whose partnership with France Telcom, in a venture known as Orange Telkom, failed.

The company, which had been expected to rival the likes of Safaricom and Airtel, remains a pale shadow of what was once a key parastatal.

Whereas privatisation was expected to inject efficiency and improve profitability, pretty little progress was made.

And it is not surprising that the French eventually threw in the towel and sold their entire stake to private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, which will retain a 70 per cent shareholding in Telkom Kenya, with the National Treasury retaining 30 per cent.

The new set-up should give Telkom Kenya the financial muscle it needs to make a new break and play a more significant role in an industry that has seen tremendous growth in recent years.

With a vast network inherited from the old parastatal, the firm should not be struggling.

The Communications Authority of Kenya has acknowledged next month's impending takeover of Telkom Kenya by Helios.

If there are still any outstanding hitches, they should be cleared to pave the way for the company's rebirth on a firmer footing to occupy its rightful place in the industry.

Kenya

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