By Roger Field
Consortium led by France Telecom wins bid to acquire Telkom Kenya stake.
A consortium led by France Telecom is set to acquire a 51% stake in Telkom Kenya, the country's incumbent telecom operator, for $390 million, after being selected as preferred bidder by the Kenyan government.
France Telecom will work with Telkom Kenya, which has some 280,000 fixed-line customers, to develop mobile, fixed and internet-based services to be rolled out under the Orange brand. With mobile penetration at less than 30%, Kenya is widely viewed as a market with high growth potential.
France Telecom will also benefit from the existing infrastructure of Telkom Kenya to develop and launch its 2.5 G network in the next year. Plans to lay submarine cables in 2009 are also expected to give Telkom Kenya the means to offer competitive prices for high-speed internet services.
France Telecom teamed up with Alcazar Capital Ltd, which took a 15% stake in the consortium, to make the bid. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.