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Safaricom Reveals Consortium With Four Global Telcos It Is Using To Bid For Ethiopian Telco Licence

Peter Ndegwa
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Kenyan giant telecommunications company Safaricom has revealed a consortium of five companies that it will use to bid for a telecommunications licence in Ethiopia.

The consortium led by Safaricom includes Vodacom Group Ltd (South Africa), Vodafone Group PLC (UK), CDC Group PLC (UK) and Sumitomo Corporation (Japan).

This follows a request for proposals (RFP) issued on March 5 by the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) for the award of two full-service mobile telecommunications licenses in Ethiopia.

“The Consortium will be submitting its proposal to the ECA in accordance with the RFP. For structuring purposes, the respective consortium members may invest through special-purpose investment vehicles,” said Safaricom company secretary Kathryne Maundu.

Read: Ethiopia Licence Deal Without M-Pesa Could Hurt Profitability – Safaricom

ECA had indicated that proposals from interested bidders must be submitted by April 26, 2021, and the successful bidders will be announced within 30 days, subject to timings subsequently advised by the ECA.

Safaricom has however warned its shareholders to exercise caution while trading shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange in regard to the matter.

“Until further announcements regarding the bid process are made, the shareholders of Safaricom PLC and other investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of Safaricom PLC, on the Nairobi Securities Exchange,” added Ms Maundu.

The Ministry of Finance in Ethiopia has already acknowledged receiving the bid from the consortium. The other bidder for the licence is MTN Group Limited, which is headquarted in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“Delighted to have received the bids for the nationwide telecom service licenses from two giant telecom operators Consortium of Safaricom (Kenya), Vodafone Group (UK), Vodacom Group (South Africa), CDC Group (UK), and Sumitomo Corporation (Japan) and MTN Group Limited,” wrote the Ministry of Finance in Ethiopia.

The development counters reports in February that indicated that Safaricom had been shortlisted for the licence, and that Ksh55 billion had been set aside for Ethiopian market entry.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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