Helios buys French firm's stake at Telkom Kenya - Daily Nation

Helios buys France Telecom's stake at Telkom Kenya

Monday November 9 2015

Orange Telkom Kenya CEO Vincent Lobry. Private equity firm Helios Investment Partners has sealed a deal with Orange Group for finalising the purchase of 70 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Orange Telkom Kenya CEO Vincent Lobry. Private equity firm Helios Investment Partners has sealed a deal with Orange Group for finalising the purchase of 70 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By LILIAN OCHIENG
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Private equity firm Helios Investment Partners has sealed a deal with Orange Group for finalising the purchase of 70 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya.

Orange Group announced Monday that the transaction is subject to approval by relevant authorities.

“This signature reflects Orange's constant focus on optimising its portfolio of assets. The Africa and Middle-East region is a strategic priority for the Group,” said a statement by the Orange Group released Monday.

The National Treasury retains it 30 per cent stake at Telkom Kenya.

BUSINESS TARGETS

Meetings are ongoing between government and Helios Investment Partners board of directors to set the business targets that will be achieved amidst the growing changes in the telecoms industry.

Helios now enters Kenya with a market share of 10.8 per cent, taking over Telkom Kenya’s 3.7 million customers.

The deal brings to an end discussions that have been on and off for five years.

News of the intended exit of France Telecom from Africa broke in March last year.

Among discussions by the two major shareholders are how to drive forward Telkom Kenya’s Sh250 million-a-year contract awarded by the government to manage the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (Nofbi) cable.

It is still unclear how much Helios parted with to own Telkom Kenya.

Despite dwindling revenues of the telco, Helios was interested in its vast wealth, with more at least 335 properties valued at Sh9.4 billion.

MANAGEMENT CHANGES

Prior to Helios’ entry into the market, Orange group made top management changes with the view of reviving its ailing Kenyan business as it put mobile money as a key anchor of growth.

The changes effective March 1, 2016 come at a time when Telkom Kenya, Orange’s local arm is struggling to make profits.

In line with this, Marc Rennard, who successfully led Orange's development in Africa and the Middle East, was appointed deputy chief executive officer in charge of customer experience and mobile financial services.

Bruno Mettling was appointed deputy chief executive officer in charge of operations in Africa and the Middle East.

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