Nigeria’s MegaTech Engineering has placed the highest bid for Orange Group’s 70% stake in Telkom Kenya, Business Daily Africa reports. The company has offered KES25 billion (USD280.2 million) for the controlling stake, placing its bid ahead of rival suitors Viettel Group of Vietnam (KES10.6 billion) and an as-yet unnamed British consortium (KES16.3 billion). According to Business Daily, the wide discrepancy in the bidders’ valuations reflects the uncertainty over the ownership of land currently held by Telkom Kenya, with additional question marks over a number of pending employee claims that have been filed in court.
MegaTech, which intends to roll out a Time-Division Duplex Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network in Nigeria would represent an unlikely buyer, but has a long-stated interest in Kenya, and made an unsuccessful approach for Essar Telecom Kenya (yu) in April this year.
For its part, Hanoi-headquartered Viettel Group has increasingly positioned itself as a pan-African operator after launching in Mozambique in May 2012; the company currently holds additional licences in Cameroon and Burundi, with licence applications pending in Burkina Faso, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In May this year Orange Group sold its majority stake in Orange Uganda to Africell Holding for an unconfirmed fee.