Safaricom permitted to sell yuMobile masts

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The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has allowed Safaricom to offload the telecommunications masts it acquired from the yuMobile owners in 2015.

The East Africa Tower Limited, Safaricom subsidiary provides that they were given approval to dispose of 30 masts out of the 453 it acquired from Essar Limited to Kenya Towers Limited the owner of yuMobile.

“East Africa Tower Ltd is fully owned subsidiary of Safaricom Limited which was used as a special purpose vehicle to acquire 453 masts from Essar Limited in 2015. The current transaction that has received approval from CAK refers to the disposal of 30 masts to Kenya Tower Limited,” said Steve Chege, Safaricom director for corporate affairs.

In 2014, Essar agreed to sell yuMobile to local rivals Airtel and Safaricom for KSH10.5 billion ($120 million). Safaricom was to take over the infrastructure holdings of Yu Mobile as well as 130 employees from its technical division while Airtel took over the firm’s 2.7 Million subscribers and GSM licenses. The deal, which has the approval of the Kenyan Communication Authority, will see Safaricom assume yuMobile’s infrastructure while Airtel takers over its subscribers and GSM licences

In the same year, Eaton Towers acquired over 3,500 towers in six countries across Africa, where Bharti Airtel has presence, with Airtel having a 10-year lease contract. This was due to the growth of admiration of Tower firms to African market.

According to Business Daily, In June 2013 Telkom Kenya signed an agreement with Eaton Towers for the management of its passive network infrastructure. The fifteen-year tower management and leasing deal was focused on both the maintenance of existing sites by Eaton Towers and the building of new sites.

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Under the agreement Telkom Kenya retained ownership of its existing portfolio of over 1,000 towers while Eaton Towers was tasked with investing in passive infrastructure upgrades and building new towers to provide Telkom Kenya with improved coverage and network quality.