Safaricom may withdraw bid for Essar Kenya assets

26 March 2014 |


Kenyan operator Safaricom is considering abandoning its bid for the assets of its rival, Essar Telecom, due to a lack of regulatory approval, Bloomberg reports.

Safaricom put forward an offer for a number of Essar Telecom’s assets earlier this month and is yet to receive an acknowledgment of receipt from the Communications Authority of Kenya.

“For all concerned, this transaction was very time-bound,” said Nzioka Waita, director of corporate affairs at Safaricom.

“We are giving very serious consideration to pulling out, for the simple reason that the lack of regulatory certainty puts us in a place where the key fundamentals of the transaction have changed,” Waita added.

The deal is a joint bid with India’s Bharti Airtel, and if approved, Safaricom will acquire Essar’s network base stations and transmission equipment, while Airtel will gain Essar’s 2.75 million subscribers and licences.

In November last year, Kenyan regulators approved the renewal of Safaricom’s operational licence despite questions over its quality of service.