A British investment firm, Helios Investment Partners, has sold its 60% stake in Telkom Kenya, making it a fully owned state-owned company.

The government exercised its preemptive rights after Helios informed it of its intention to leave Telkom. In 2007, Orange acquired the majority stake in Telcom Kenya from Helios Investment Partners when the Kenyan operator was privatized. Following a failed merger attempt with Airtel Kenya, the British private equity firm lost interest in the operator.

Despite maintaining its third place in the market, Telkom has been struggling to maintain its subscriber base, falling from 5.2 million in 2016 to 3.3 million in 2022. Also, Helios’ recent investments are spread across several firms and countries in East Africa in the financial services, technology, infrastructure, healthcare, energy and customer sectors.

The new deal raises Telkom Kenya’s value to Ksh10 billion. However, it scuttles initial IPO plans to get the operator listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

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