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Orange Raises Stake in Telkom Kenya

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France's Orange has refused to grant more time to the Kenyan government to inject more cash into their local joint venture.

The management of the loss making company had asked for more than Sh13 billion from shareholders -- the Kenyan government and France Telecom, although it settled for Sh10 billion instead.

The Kenyan government had failed to meet the deadline to inject Sh2.4 billion into Telkom Kenya in order to lift its stake back up to 40 percent. As a result, Orange is to retain its current 70% stake in the company.

"I confirm to you that there will be no negotiations. The capital structure will remain unchanged at 70:30," Olivier Emberger, a press officer at France Telecom told the Business Daily in an e-mail.

Kenya Telkom reported a loss of Sh7.9 billion last year, and is struggling to roll over debts, many of which now come with a maximum duration of just 90 days as creditors worry that the company could be forced into bankruptcy.

France Telecom paid USD390 million in late 2007 for its 51% stake in the company. It's stake was increased last December when the French company injected more capital into the firm.

On the web: Business Daily

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Tags: orange  telkom kenya  Kenya