The Airtel-Telkom merger faces further delays after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) pushed back the deadline for completing its investigation of the deal.
The merger, which was first announced on 8th February, was set to be completed by 27th September.
In a letter to Communication Authority, Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said it is separately investigating whether public funds were lost when the Cabinet approved a plan in 2012 to convert the Treasury’s loans in Telkom Kenya into equity as part of a plan to recapitalise and restructure the balance sheet of the company.
In addition, Telkom Kenya was on August 14 requested by EACC to provide further information in connection with investigations on allegations of misappropriation of public funds.
According to EACC, a separate investigation is also ongoing to establish the circumstances under which the Treasury ceded further ownership of Telkom Kenya to Orange, the French multinational which later sold its stake to private equity fund Helios.
Airtel and Telkom Kenya intend to combine their respective mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses and form an entity, Airtel-Telkom, so as to boost their competitive edge against market-leader Safaricom, by reducing operating costs and increasing economies of scale.