, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Safaricom has received all regulatory approvals required to complete its Sh7.2 billion acquisition of various assets of Essar Telecommunications Kenya Limited, the operator of Yu Mobile network.
The acquisition, the largest of its kind in the telecom sector in Kenya, has received the approvals of the Communications Authority of Kenya, the Competition Authority of Kenya and the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya.
The transaction which involves the acquisition by Safaricom of Essar’s passive network infrastructure and frequency spectrum, will also extend to the onboarding of 150 of Essar’s employees.
“This strategic acquisition provides us with the opportunity to bolster our services to our 22 million customers. I am confident that our customers in both urban and rural areas will benefit from the anticipated improvement of the quality of service on both voice and data services as we switch on more of the acquired capacity,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said.
Safaricom will now embark on the process of incorporating Essar’s assets into its network as well as start to utilize the spectrum it will receive as part of the deal.
The company already concluded talent interviews for the Essar employees who are expected to join the company from late November 2014.
Safaricom has joined hands with its other competitor Airtel to buy off Yu, a move that is expected to bring change in the industry.
Airtel is on the other hand expected to acquire the 2.7 million Yu customers who will cross over without changing their identities.
Since entering the Kenyan market in 2008, Essar Telecom has been struggling to break even while relying on its parent company to run most of its business.