- Telkom Kenya has relaunched almost 12 months after the exit of the immediate former majority shareholder, the Orange Group (formerly France Telecom), – who sold its majority stake to private equity firm, Helios Investment Partners. The Kenyan Government owns 40% of Telkom.
- “We are committed to gradually restoring Telkom’s relevance in Kenya’s social and economic dynamic to transform it into a viable market player in the telecommunications sector and a profitable national asset,” says Company Chair, Eddy Njoroge.
- Telkom also launched a 4G network with free daily data in all major towns and also entered the home broadband market offering 4G to homes in an offer dubbed ‘Home Plan’..
Telkom has got extensive coverage across Kenya. For companies, Telkom Enterprise offers the best options in three different packages of data and voice products in all counties that can be tailor-made to suit any customer’s needs:
- BVPN (business VPN) provides connectivity for large companies and is available in all the 47 counties of Kenya. BVPN can also be extended to even more remote areas using satellite and is scalable which means a company can add new locations with voice and video. This is ideal for large companies with a presence in different locations that want security and which have sensitive, encrypted data that needs to be transferred nationwide.
- JamboNet is a dedicated access offering with fast reliable Internet for businesses that range from 1 MBPS to 150 MPBS. An online customer portal enables monitoring and reporting and the service is backed by a strict service level agreement (SLA) that aims at 99.9% uptime. The quality of JamboNet service does not degrade as more users join on, and it comes with a firewall as a standard. JamboNet is available nationwide and there is also a wireless option to extend the service to areas that don’t have cable already
- E@zyNet is an unlimited fixed bandwidth solution for SME customers. There are different monthly cost packages starting at an affordable price of Kshs 3,499 (~$35 per month). It is easy to start and reliable, offering high download speeds and flexibility for users.
Telkom, which has data centres and cloud storage also manages the Kenya government’s National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) – a national inland fibre optic cable network. Telkom has also invested in VSAT, satellite communications in remote areas, a terrestrial fibre optic cable network, GSM, and 4G LTE. Other products that are optional include free intra-company calls (within a local user group), wireless landline, fleet management, and County government solutions and other value-added services designed for hospitals and schools.
According to the latest Communications Authority of Kenya quarterly report (December 2016), the number of fixed fibre optic subscriptions grew by 18% during the quarter while that of fixed cable modem subscriptions increased by 2.8%. In a statement, Managing Director of the Enterprise Division at Telkom Kenya, Kris Senanu said “success for a Kenyan enterprise should be seen in the lens of reduced downtime through reliable connectivity; operational efficiency through uninterrupted connectivity; great customer service and clear communication lines with stakeholders and ultimately revenue-generating that leads to business growth.”
Monday’s nationwide outage of telephone, internet data, and mobile money services showed the practical need for people and companies to have viable alternatives for their daily connectivity. One of the oldest companies in this space is Telkom Kenya.
While it has been in the news more for its foray into mobile phone business under the Orange brand, other parts of the company have continued to chug along providing affordable and reliable services to customers, governments, and institutions all across the country
Telkom Enterprise has three key connectivity products: JamboNet for large businesses, E@synet Broadband for SME’s, and Flybox for homes and small businesses. Telkom has continued to invest and grow its infrastructure as well as through partnerships in submarine cables to extend broadband connectivity. The Telkom Kenya Entreprise division is now led Kris Senanu, long-associated with Access Kenya and the history of internet service businesses in Kenya. Telkom manages the National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) for the Kenya Government and was recently contracted to roll out free Wi-Fi to over one thousand, government-funded, incubation hubs in 290 constituencies around the country.
Telkom is 60% owned by Helios, an Africa-focused investment firm, and the Kenya government owns the other 40%. Other investments by Helios in Kenya include Africa Oil, Vivo Energy, and the Wananchi Group. It is also invested in Interswitch which supports financial connectivity services at a dozen Kenya banks and 1,000 ATM’s.
Digital Kenya, by Bitange Ndemo and Tim Weiss, charts the rapid emergence of Kenya in the world of technology. Through stories and interviews with people in the sector, you learn about risk-taking and making policy from humble beginnings back in the mid-1990’s when the whole country shared 32 kbps, and the then telecom Kenya Posts & Telecommunications (KPTC) monopoly declared internet services as being illegal. At the time, KPTC was connecting about 10,000 users to the phone network, and with 77,000 potential customers waiting, they envisioned a 5% tele-density in Kenya by the year 2015. The tele-density in 2015 turned out to be 88% thanks to rapid changes that came after fibre cables and the cheaper mobile phones emerged.
One story is a narration of how, as a peace agreement was being signed in February 2008 to end the post-election violence in Kenya, the ICT Ministry managed to secure a guarantee to enable the laying of the TEAMS fibre cable that ultimately changed the face of ICT in Kenya. This came after the ministry had stepped back from another long-discussed bureaucratic cable project – one called EASSY. This was one of the examples of government officials circumventing red tape for a good outcome. Another was the roll out of M-Pesa which is also cited here, ahead of regulations and thanks to some individuals in government giving it their cautious blessing. Not all of them turned out well, and one case cited is of officials at the Postal Corporation sabotaging a land deal that would have led to the establishment in Nairobi of the headquarters of a multinational telecommunications organization.
There are many other stories that show issues of privatization, race, the lack of vision & finance, tech startups, the need for skills to scale, and the disconnect between local capital & the tech sector. It also shows the disconnect of ICT with both formal banking and also with the agricultural sector, two crucial links yet to be adequately bridged in Kenya.
Thanks to the Ford Foundation, the books is available free of charge and a free book download can be obtained.
Various deals in the last few weeks and months in East Africa
- Barclays sold 12% of Barclays Africa for $873 million, reducing its’ stake to 50.1%. In Kenya, the Central bank said their feel like `flower girls’ in the Barclays exit for which Barclays says it has attracted ‘over 100’ offers.
- At Chase Bank suitors are lining up to buy the bank that’s now out of receivership. KCB and QNB of Qatar are tipped as leaders, but there are as are a few other mid-size banks said to be interested.
- Cooperative Bank plans to do a joint ventures to expand into Ethiopia and Rwanda following in the model that was succesful in South Sudan. This will be in partnerships with co-operative societies in those countries.
- Credit Bank is seeking an additional Kshs 5.4 billion from an investment group. The bank is wooing Fountain Enterprises Programme (FEP) to buy to 70% of the bank via a private offer priced at Kshs 180 apiece and limited to members of the chama (investment club) which has a large following in the UK and US. (via Biz Daily)
- CBK has rejects takeover bids by 7 suitors of collapsed Dubai Bank, as the proposed investors have not provided bona fides.
- Equity Bank is completing the acquisition of 79% of Congo (DRC), the 7th largest bank – ProCredit Bank for w Africa. It has 170,000 customers and only about 4% of their 85 million citizens have bank accounts.
- The Mwalimu SACCO/Equatorial Commercial Bank combination is going to be called Spire Bank (via Mwirigi)
- Fidelity Bank is set to receive an investment from Duet Private Equity who will pay Kshs 1.9 billion to buy into the bank (no shareholders are exiting).
- I&M is set to acquire 100% of Giro bank in a deal in which the owners of Giro will get 5% of I&M. Also CDC is set to become the fourth largest owner of I&M after it agreed to fully buy out DEG and Proparco, who hold an 11% stake. The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the acquisition 65% of Burbidge Capital by I&M.
- Jamii Bora is looking to raise an additional Kshs 3.8 billion, comprising 800 million of debt and Kshs 3 billion from a strategic partner/investor.
- Kenya Government: The National Bank of Kenya (NBK), Consolidated Bank and the Development Bank of Kenya will be consolidated into one or two institutions to make them stronger in coming months, to make them stronger, Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has said.
- The Kenya government also plans to create Biashara Bank form merging the Youth, Women’s & Uwezo enterprise funds) to cater for start-ups
- Tanzania’s Bank M is set to acquire Kenya’s Oriental Commercial Bank, and be listed at the NSE. Bank M, a recent winner of best corporate bank in Tanzania has set up a holding company in Kenya (via Kenyanwalstreet)
Beauty & Pharma
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 100% of Canon Chemicals by Godrej East Africa Holdings
- Earlier the Competition Authority cleared the acquisition of the brands of Sigoria t/a Beuty Plus East Africa by Flame Tree Africa – this was part of the acquisition of the ‘Suzie Beauty’ brand and inventories for Kshs 45 million.
Food & Beverage
- Centum made an offer to buy shares from some minority Almasi bottling shareholders.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of Sab Miller by Anheuser-Busch Inbev.
- Naked Pizza Kenya has been bought out by Pizza Hut (more here)
- Coca-Cola Company announced a new streamlined international structure. The company will form a Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Group, consisting of the business units that currently make up the Europe and the Eurasia and Africa Groups. And, in Africa, two business units will be reconfigured to more closely align operations with bottling operations on the continent, with the formation of a new South and East Africa business unit and a West Africa business unit. (Edit)
Finance, Law, & Insurance
- Helios did a deal for Crown Agents key units marking the first time an African-managed fund acquired a UK financial institution.
- Ringier Africa Deals group (ex-Rupu) acquired Nigerian online shopping platform DealDey
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of an additional 16% of AON Kenya Insurance Brokers Limited by AON UK Holdings giving it a controlling interest of 56%.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 63% of First Assurance Company by First Assurance Holdings on condition that the merged entity shall retain all 120 employees of First Assurance Company
- Resolution Insurance was set to raise Kshs 2.5 billion in a series of transactions that will see new investors join private equity firm Leapfrog Investments in the list of the company’s shareholders (via Biz. Daily)
- Two of the oldest Kenyan law firms, Daly & Figgis (1899) and Inamdar & Inamdar (1926) will now practice as Daly & Inamdar.
- Plum LLP plans to buy a 23% of insurer British-American Investments(Britam) that had been seized by the government of Mauritius from a disgraced businessman in 2015. (Edit)
Logistics, Engineering, & Agri-Biz
- Google agreed to buy a 12.5% stake in Africa’s largest wind project, Kenya’s Lake Turkana, from Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S. The 310-megawatt Lake Turkana wind park, controlled by Lake Turkana Wind Power, is set to produce about 15% of Kenya’s electricity needs (via Marketwatch)
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 100% of Schreurs Naivasha by Kongoni River Farm.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 49% of, and or 100% preference shares in, Seruji Limited by QG African Infrastructure 1L.P.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of assets of Lima by Panafrican Equipment – (Biwott)
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 51% Transmara Sugar by Sucriere Des Mascareignes
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of the assets of Afro Plastics Kenya by Ashut Engineers.
- Finlays Horticulture Kenya was granted approval by the Competition Authority to buy Skytrain Limited, which provides the essential service to cargo airlines at JKIA (via Biz. Daily)
- Swiss logistics giant Panalpina completed the buyout of a majority stake in Nairobi-based air freight forwarder Airflo for an undisclosed amount. (via Biz. Daily)
- Craft Silicon will launch the Little Drivers service starting with 2,000 drivers — formerly of Easy Taxi, which exited the Kenyan and African markets last month after a decision by one of its investors, American firm Goldman Sachs, to direct all its investments towards Uber. (via Biz. Daily)
- A British engineering firm that designed the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai has acquired a Kenyan company, making Nairobi its African headquarters for property, energy and infrastructure deals. Atkins will build on the strong regional market presence of Howard Humphreys East Africa to grow its consultancy business lines including design, engineering and project management. (via Biz. Daily)
- TransCentury Group reached a settlement with its majority convertible bondholders, reducing the debt from $80M to $40M as the company has secured an equity injection of $20M from Kuramo Capital, bringing the outstanding bond debt to USD 20M. (Edit)
Real Estate & Supermarkets
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 100% of Vipingo Estate by Centum Investments.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of a further 40% of Two Rivers Lifestyle Centre by OMP Africa Investment Company (Old Mutual.) Also at Two Rivers, Carrefour has signed a 7-year lease that guarantees some exclusivity.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of Yako Supermarket by Nakumatt Holdings, on condition that the merged entity shall retain all two hundred and eighty three (283) employees of Yako Supermarkets.
- Suppliers adopted Uchumi’s revival plan that included convert half of the debt owed to them into equity but Uchumi’s largest shareholder, Jamii Bora Bank, said they were duped in investing in the chain two years ago.
- Botswana supermarket chain Choppies finally succeeded in its quest to enter Kenya’s retail space through the acquisition of Ukwala
Telecommunications, Media & Publishing
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 70% of Telkom Kenya by Jamhuri Holdings (Helios)
- Times Media Group paid a lot for half of the Radio Africa Group, but it mostly went to settle their debt that was $11 million (via #JKL #thismanpike)
- Centum increased its stake in Longhorn to 60% in a recent rights issue (it was 31% before).
- Bamba TV and Standard Group signed a Kshs 300 million partnership that will see KTN acquire a 50% stake in Lancia Digital Broadcasting, the trademark owner of Bamba TV. (via The Star) (Edit)
- Trace TV acquires African VOD Service Buni.Tv which is one of the 3 largest VOD services in Africa alongside Iroko TV and Nasper’s Showmax (Edit)
- Longhorn Publishers is set to acquire 74% Law Africa Publishing for an undisclosed price. (Edit)
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 30% of KEG Holdings by Africa Bovine.
- The Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of 51% of Universal Corporation by Strides Pharma (Cyprus)
- The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the acquisition of shares in Stellar Investment Holdings by Catalyst OCL Investment LLC , pursuant to the provisions of a convertible debt instrument.
- Marriott International have rebranded Protea Hotels to capitalize on the travel aspirations of Africa’s growing middle class and the increased presence of international hotel brands in Africa. The brand is now officially Protea Hotels by Marriott (Edit)
- GardaWorld acquires KK Security: The international protective service firm had added KK Security to its global hetwork which now includes 18 African countries, up from 11 before. (Edit)
- Tigo to buy out of Airtel Kenya?
- Gossip blog Ghafla Kenya gets acquired by Ringier (via Techweez)
- An investment banker’s worst nightmare .. buyers in $ billon deals didn’t use financial advisers 26% of the time.
- African private-equity deals shrink to lowest level in three years as funds reach record closes?!
- Africa private equity exits reach a nine-year high?!
- UK business aviation feels that a Britain split from the European Union would be a very bad thing.
- The African Development Bank is putting up a fund with $5 billion, specifically to incubate ideas from young Africans.
$1 = Kshs 100