American Tower Corporation acquires 723 telecommunications towers owned by Telkom Kenya

Telecommunications firm, Telkom Kenya has concluded plans to sell up 723 of its towers to American Tower Corporation (ATC), in a bid to focus on providing quality of service rather than managing infrastructure.

American Tower Corp in a statement confirmed that, “On April 3, 2018, American Tower Corp through its recently formed Kenyan subsidiary, (AT Kenya C.V) entered into a definitive agreement with Telkom Kenya Limited to acquire up to 723 communications sites.”

Meanwhile, Telkom Kenya board chairman Eddy Njoroge said Telkom Kenya was delighted to have signed the agreement and looked forward to a close collaboration between itself and ATC.

“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.” Njoroge said.

Telkom, which is 60 percent owned by Helios Investment Partners and 40 percent owned by the Government of Kenya, is following a growing trend of various telecoms firms who shed their tower infrastructure to dedicated management firms.

Earlier this year, Telkom Kenya stated that its five-year strategy is to invest Sh15.2 billion ($150 million) in its 3G and 4G networks as well as mobile financial services and customer experience.

According to William Hess, ATC’s Latin America’s president, “Kenya represents ATC’S 17th market globally, and its fifth in Africa. And 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.”

The deal, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, will give the publicly held multinational ATC a presence in Kenya, nearly a decade after making its maiden foray into East Africa through similar acquisitions in neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania.