Three foreign firms get approval to convert loans into equity shares in Wananchi Group

KENYA – 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.

“The transaction involves the three acquirers converting their debt in the target into equity, with certain controlling rights. It, therefore, met the threshold for mandatory notification and full merger analysis as provided in the Competition (General) Rules, 2019,” CAK said in a statement.

Triple HoldCo Limited is a Mauritian company and does not own stake in any Kenyan entity but its parent company Intercontinental Trust Limited controls various undertakings in Kenya.

Liberty Global Europe 2 Limited (Liberty), the 2nd acquiring undertaking is wholly owned by Liberty Global Plc, a publicly-traded holding company on the NASDAQ in the United States of America. It does not control any undertaking in Kenya.

Altice. on the other hand, is based in Luxembourg and is involved in the acquisition, management, development, and transfer of securities. It also does not control any undertaking in Kenya.

According to the authority, the parties’ combined and relevant revenue for the preceding year was over KSh1 billion (US$8.33m).

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 per cent, before the merger Wananchi Group had a market share of 28.7 per cent.

CAK assured the public that the transaction will not negatively affect the Kenyan firms’ employment in any way.

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