Airtel and Telkom Kenya Merger Approved, Paving Way for East Africa’s Second-largest Telco

Telkom to lay off 500 employees in a strategic transformation phase

The Competition Authority has approved the planned merger between Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s  Kenya unit (Airtel Kenya) and Telkom Kenya Limited (Telkom Kenya), but with specific conditions.

In a notice published in the Kenya Gazette Friday, CAK said the merger should ensure it retains its employees.

“The merged entity shall ensure that at least three hundred and forty-nine (349) of the six hundred and seventy-four (674) employees of the target are retained as follows:

(a) 120 employees by the merged entity for a period of two years from the date of the implementation of the merger (b) 114 employees by Telkom Kenya Limited for a period of two (2) years from the date of the implementation of the merger; and (c) 115 employees to be absorbed by the network partners of the merged entity,” CAK boss Wang’ombe Kariuki said.

The regulator further said the merged entity is required not to sell or transfer some of its operating and frequency spectrum licences. 

“Upon expiry of the term of the merged entities’ operating license, the spectrum in the 900MHZ and 1800MHZ acquired from Telkom shall revert back to the Government of Kenya (GoK),” the notice says.

The merged entity is restricted from entering into any form of sale agreement within the next five years.


The two telcos agreed to merge combining their respective mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses in Kenya to operate as Airtel-Telkom.

The merged company will be chaired by Telkom Kenya Limited CEO, Mr. Mugo Kibati while Airtel Networks Kenya Chief Executive, Mr. Prasanta Sarma, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer.