Mumbai: India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Communications Ltd and the Tata Group are bidding for 51% stake in state-owned Telkom Kenya, a leading newspaper said on 8 August.
Representatives of the Indian companies are in Nairobi to participate in a bidders’ conference, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.
A spokesman for Bharti, India’s top mobile services operator, said the company is interested in international opportunities but would not comment on speculation. A spokesmen for Reliance Communications, the No 2 operator, did not immediately return a call.
A spokesman for Tata’s Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd said Africa had been identified as an important market. “The company already has a presence in South Africa and continues to evaluate further opportunities in Africa,” he said.
The Tata group has a growing presence in Africa through its automobiles, engineering and communications businesses. VSNL owns a stake in Neotel, South Africa’s second national fixed-line phone operator.
Kenya last month nearly doubled the Telkom Kenya stake on offer to 51%. The successful bidder will get a controlling stake but will have to sell off 11% in an initial public offering on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
Telkom Kenya will open technical proposals from interested investors on 30 October and financial proposals on 8 November.