Telkom Kenya is expected to unveil a new corporate identity, ushering in a new dawn for the struggling mobile telecommunications service provider.
This will see the firm drop the Orange suffix following the decision by the French-owned telecommunication firm to sell its entire stake to UK-based private equity firm Helios Investments Partners after a decade of loss-making operations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to unveil the new brand identity this morning as the 18-month grace period given to Helios by Orange to maintain the ‘Orange’ brand ends. This was part of the Sh30 billion deal signed in late 2015.
The new brand identity will mark the end of France’s Orange operation in Kenya after a nine-year stint largely marked by losses and limited growth in the number of customers and revenue as well as run-ins with the National Treasury over the management of the operator.
Telkom Kenya is now expected to start from scratch to build a new brand.
A NEW ERA
“We are looking at a new era where Telkom Kenya will no longer be looked at as a ‘sleeping giant’, as has been the case, and our users and the market are about to witness a new entity,” said the firm’s new chief technology officer, John Bororot.
He was brought in together with other industry insiders including a former Access Kenya managing director, Kris Senanu, in an effort to turn around the fortunes of the struggling telco.
Helios Investment Partners bought the entire 70 per cent stake owned by Orange but ceded a 10 per cent stake to the National Treasury, retaining a 60 per cent shareholding while the Government saw its shareholding go up from 30 to 40 per cent.
Orange bought a controlling 51 per cent stake in the company in 2007 for $390 million (Sh40 billion). The decision by Orange to sell its stake comes in the wake of its frustration at the Government’s inability to clear the path for the restructuring of one of Kenya’s oldest institutions.
Since the 2007 privatisation, the governance of Telkom Kenya has been marked by infighting between the Frenchmen and Treasury.