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Telkom Kenya to sell 723 towers to American Tower Corporation

Telkom Kenya to sell 723 towers to American Tower Corporation

Telecoms firm Telkom Kenya has reached a definitive agreement to sell up to 723 of its towers in the East African country to American Tower Corporation, as the company looks to focus on quality of service rather than managing infrastructure.

In agreeing to sell its towers Telkom, which is 60% owned by Helios Investment Partners and 40% by the Government of Kenya, is following a growing trend across the continent whereby telecoms firms shed their tower infrastructure to dedicated management firms.

The sale of towers allows telecoms to focus on service delivery, leasing capacity from tower management firms rather than upkeeping expensive infrastructure themselves. American Tower, which has agreed to buy the towers from Telkom Kenya, is one such firm, with a global portfolio of over 160,000 communications sites.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Telkom Kenya board chair Eddy Njoroge said the company was delighted to have signed the agreement, and looked forward to a close collaboration between the two companies.

"The board of Telkom Kenya has made it clear that our objective is to transform Telkom into a business which has a reputation for excellence in terms of the quality and reliability of its network. This agreement, in which we will be partnering with a leading global tower company, will enhance the quality and reliability of our network to the benefit of our customers," he said.

William Hess, American Tower Corporation president of EMEA and Latin America, said Kenya represented his firm's 17th market globally, and its fifth in Africa.

"We look forward to helping expand the reach of mobile broadband throughout the country. Kenya is a very attractive market, and we have high expectations for its long-term growth potential," he said.

The network availability and service levels agreed between the two companies are "world class", according to Telkom Kenya CEO Aldo Mareuse.

"This agreement represents another important step towards the transformation of this business and the service levels we deliver to our customers. Telkom will now focus on its core function - the provision of quality telecommunications services to our customers," he said.

"In addition, the sale will release capital for further investment in our 4G network and a number of state of the art IT platforms, all of which will further enhance services for our customers as they demand higher quality and speed from our mobile data networks as well as a richer range of services."

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