Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya have dropped their merger plans due to frustrations faced by the two during the process.
The two claim that despite them agreeing on the merger, the process to reach a successful closure was ”a very lengthy process which has led the parties to reconsider their stance” and the two firms will therefore no longer pursue completion of the transaction.
In a statement, Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa CEO and MD said: “Kenya is a large and growing market and we remain committed to build a growing profitable business. We currently serve more than 14 million Kenyan customers, a number that is growing month on month, and in the last quarter our revenue numbers were up double digit in constant currency in Kenya.”
Airtel says its new strategy will focus on winning more customers, invest in a best in class voice and data network and progressively expand its mobile money business.
” We will continue to build on these results in order to deliver against the opportunities the Kenyan market has to offer,” he added.
The two firms had entered into an Agreement dated 8th February, 2019 to combine their businesses in Kenya, so as to create an integrated telecommunications platform with mobile, enterprise, and wholesale divisions. The completion of the Transaction was subject to the satisfaction of various conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals.
Earlier, there were reports that Safaricom was opposed to the proposed Telkom and Airtel Kenya merger, but Michael Joseph, then CEO – Safaricom PLC, denied the allegations and said the firm was for the merger between Telkom and Airtel Kenya.
The chief executive added that Safaricom believes in competition based on innovation, investment, focus on brand building and service to the customer. Joseph added that industry players are free to engage and organize themselves as they please, subject to regulatory approvals, to achieve their objectives.