Essar said on Saturday it has sold its telecom business in Kenya to Safaricom and Airtel for around $120 million. The deal marks the exit of Essar from the telecom business, having started the process in 2010 with the sale of its telecom tower business to ATC, which was followed by
the sale of its 33% stake in Vodafone Essar for $5.2 billion in 2011.
In July it sold its US-based outsourcing company, Aegis US, to Teleperformance for $610 million.
Essar Capital, the fund manager of Essar Global Fund (EGFL), which through its portfolio company Essar Telecom Kenya, operates the yuMobile telecom service in Kenya, on Saturday announced the signing of binding agreements with Safaricom and Airtel for sale of its telecom business in Kenya. The divestment will see Safaricom take over Essar’s network, IT and office infrastructure, while Airtel will acquire its subscribers. “Airtel Networks Kenya (Airtel Kenya) has signed a definitive agreement with Essar Telecommunications Kenya, which operates under the brand name yuMobile, to acquire its over 2.7 million subscribers,” a Bharti Airtel statement said.
Essar Capital said the transaction has received approval from the Communication Authority (CA) in Kenya and it will now be filed with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) for approval. The company expects the transaction to conclude during the fourth quarter of 2014. yuMobile CEO Madhur Taneja said close to 90% of yuMobile employees will be absorbed by Safaricom and Airtel.