The Competition Authority of Kenya(CAK) has approved the conversion of loans advanced by three foreign firms to internet and pay TV provider, Wananchi Group, into equity shares.
The companies, Triple Hold Co Limited, Liberty Global Europe 2 Limited (Liberty), and Altice Africa S.A.R.L (Altice) will get certain controlling rights of Wananchi Group.
According to the Authority, the parties’ combined and relevant revenue for the preceding year was over KES1 billion.
Due to an overlap in the provision of telecommunication services, specifically in the provision of fixed broadband services, CAK said parties agreed that the relevant product market for the purposes of the transaction was determined as provision of internet and broadband services.
This means, the parties, Wananchi Group and the three firms will provide their products across the country.
Post-merger, the merged entity will have a combined market share of 29.3%. Before the merger Wananchi Group had a market share of 28.7%.
Wananchi Group started off as Wananchi Online in 2000 with ICT secretary Joe Mucheru and former CEO Njeri Rionge among its founders.
In 2008, the business transformed into Wananchi Group after new investors joined the company following several rounds of fundraising through a mix of debt and equity from State-owned Export Development Canada, Emerging Capital Partners, Altice, Nasdaq-listed cable firm Liberty Global Inc, and New York-based Prudence Holdings, among others.
Wananchi has operations in various African Countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Zambia, Malawi, and Mauritius.