Safaricom has been approved to complete its USD 80 million (Shs 7.2 billion) acquisition of various assets of Essar Telecommunications Kenya Limited by the Communications Authority of Kenya, the Competition Authority of Kenya and the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya.
The approval will see Safaricom takeover Essar’s passive network infrastructure and frequency spectrum and also onboard 150 of Essar’s employees.
In a statement Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore said,“This strategic acquisition provides us with the opportunity to bolster our services to our 22 million customers. 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 the acquired capacity.”
Safaricom which has been in the media recently for opposing Equitel’s Thin SIM technology says it will now embark on the process of incorporating Essar’s assets into its network as well as start to utilize the spectrum it will receive as part of the deal to enhance its service delivery to its subscribers over the coming months. Safaricom has also successfully concluded talent interviews for the Essar employees who are expected to join the company from late November 2014.
It’s arch-rival, Airtel will be taking over YuMobile’s 2.55 million subscribers and System for Mobile (GSM) communications licenses. The 2.55 million customers will join Airtel’s Kenya’s 5.3 million customers, growing its customer base by 50% to 7.85 million and customer market share to 25%.