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Orange Sells its 70% Stake in Telkom Kenya

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The Orange Group announced that it has signed a binding agreement with Helios Investment Partners for the sale of its entire 70% stake in Telkom Kenya.

The move is a change for Helios, which has been primarily a tower network operator.

Financial terms are not being disclosed.

France Telecom originally bought a 51% stake in the Kenyan landline operator in 2007 for USD390 million, but raised its stake to 70% in January 2013 when the government was unable to match investment funding that was needed to stem losses at the company.

The company has struggled with high debts and poor investment as customers increasingly switched to mobile services.

Telkom Kenya is the country's incumbent fixed-line operator and is the third player in the mobile market. The company had four million mobile customers at the end of June 2015 according to figures published by the regulator.

Telkom Kenya originally owned a stake in the Safaricom mobile network, but that was split off by the government prior to the sale to France Telecom. Telkom Kenya was then granted its own mobile license, but has struggled to sign up customers in the market dominated by Safaricom.

The finalization of the transaction remains subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

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