French telecom firm Orange to exit Kenya after stake sale

GMT 00:46 2016 Saturday ,11 June

Arab Today, arab today French telecom firm Orange to exit Kenya after stake sale

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Nairobi - Xinhua

 French telecom firm Orange says it has completed the sale of its entire 70 percent stake in Telkom Kenya to private equity firm, Helios Investment Partners.

A statement issued in Nairobi from Orange on Friday announced the finalization of the transaction, which it said was subjected to approval from relevant authorities including the Kenyan government.

"The Africa and Middle-East region remains a strategic priority for the Group. This divestment reflects Orange's constant focus on optimizing its portfolio of assets," the statement said.

Telkom Kenya is the country's incumbent fixed-line and the third largest player in the mobile market. The Kenyan government owns the remaining 30 percent of Telkom Kenya.

The company, which operates a high-quality mobile data network, had over four million mobile customers at the end of April, according to figures published by the regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya.

Orange is the latest international operator to quit Kenya, where Safaricom -- partly owned by Britain's Vodafone -- has the majority of subscribers.

The French telecom firm paid 390 million U.S. dollars for its stake in 2007, aiming to capitalize on what were fast growth rates in the sector.

An attempt by Orange in November 2014 to sell its majority shareholding in Telkom Kenya to Vietnamese telecom firm Viettel fell through.

Viettel reportedly pulled out of the deal after the Kenyan government rejected a number of its conditions for the deal.

source : xinhua 

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