Telkom, Airtel merger deal suspended, instead Telkom is opting for alternative strategic options

The expected merger deal between Telkom and Airtel Networks Kenya Limited isn’t happening after all, this is after Telkom alleged continued challenges in receiving all necessary approvals from relevant authorities. Today, the third largest mobile service provider acknowledged the deal was dead and instead was focusing on alternative methods to increase its position in the country.

 Safaricom continues to dominate Kenya’s market with a record of over 90 percent Kenyans utilizing the Telco’s mobile money service – MPESA. Due to MPESA’s dominance, other Telco’s have found it particularly hard to crack it considered mobile money services and communication services go hand in hand. The only way someone could enjoy benefits of MPESA while utilizing affordable services from other providers was through having more than one SIM cards.

The intended merger between the second and third mobile service providers kicked off sometimes in February 2019, but has since met several hurdles including one provision from Safaricom that made the terms difficult to meet.

In a statement sent to media, Telkom acknowledged the challenges met in acquiring relevant approvals to complete the transaction that led it to evaluate alternative strategic options to strengthen their standing in the country. For this reason, the mobile provider said it reviewed carefully all available options and settled on not proceeding with the joint venture. Indeed, the decision is both amicable between Airtel Kenya and Telkom.

Telkom has further withdrawn its redundancy notice issued on 31st July and instead focusing on a new path giving all employees the opportunity for greater career progression, as the company commences the new phase of its development, to establish itself as an essential player in the new digital world order.


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