Last year when Airtel and Telkom announced they were planning to merge, I called it a funny merger with a funny name. Today, Telkom Kenya has made public that the proposed deal has been called off. Reason given? Well in a statement by Telkom’s CEO Mugo Kibati, the company has pointed fingers at challenges experienced in getting all the approvals required to complete the transaction
The statement also says that the decision has been mutually agreed on by Airtel Kenya.
If you don’t remember the story, it’s because it has taken forever. It’s now over a year since the two companies announced intentions of a merger. This happened in February of 2019.
Though the two companies never shared much on what was to happen once the two companies came together, what we knew was that the new venture would be called Airtel-Telkom with Airtel’s CEO becoming the CEO of the new venture, and Telkom’s CEO becoming the Chair.
At that time, Airtel enjoyed 22% market share, while Telkom had 9%. Coming together, they would take on Safaricom’s 64% market share.