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Safaricom Renews Plans to Buy Yu's Mobile Network Infrastructure

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Kenya's Safaricom has confirmed that it will apply to buy the network assets of smaller rival, Essar's Yu after overcoming regulatory problems.

Essar put the assets up for sale after deciding to pull out of the market, and the deal would see the 2.7 million customer base sold to Airtel, while Safaricom was looking to buy the network infrastructure.

That deal would see Airtel's market share rise to around 25 percent, compared to Safaricom's 66 percent. Smaller rival Orange lags with just over 7 percent, and is also thought to be looking to sell its local operations.

Safaricom walked away from the deal citing difficulties with the regulator, but these now appear to have been overcome.

The mobile network's CEO, Bob Collymore says that he now expects the transaction to be completed within the next few months.

The deal is expected to cost around USD120 million.

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Tags: safaricom  Kenya