Monday 27th May 2019, Nairobi, iWayAfrica-Kenya has announced a merger of its operations with Echotel International Properties Limited (Echo) of South Africa in a move that gives Echo a controlling stake of the Kenyan ICT firm.
iWayAfrica Kenya confirmed the merger of the ISP operations of iWayAfrica Kenya and Echotel International Proprietary Limited (Echo) following approval of the transaction from the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK). The merger, aimed at strengthening the two ICT service provider’s presence in the region, will see Echotel have an 80 percent share of the Kenyan ICT firm.
iWayAfrica Kenya provides fixed line services as well as a range of ICT services including wireless internet connectivity services, data storage, support and maintenance services, among others. South Africa-based Echo resells Internet connectivity, Virtual Private Network (VPN) and online security services. It provides services via a multi-carrier converged network, to simplify the complexity of aggregating infrastructure to clients.
iWayAfrica Kenya Country Manager Ken Munyi, said the deal is a natural fit for both organizations. “This is an exciting opportunity for iWayAfrica Kenya to strengthen and expand our service offering to customers. This is not only a positive development for customers, but also for staff and suppliers who can be assured of continuity as a strong, focused, industry-leading business, ”he said.
The Competition Authority of Kenya noted that the transaction qualifies as a merger as per Section 2 and 41 of the Competition Act No.12 of 2010 and would therefore have no negative effect on competition. “The transaction met the threshold for full merger analysis as provided in the Merger Threshold Guidelines,” according to the regulator.
The transaction forms part of a deal between Echo and Gondwana International Networks (GIN) announced in October 2018 which saw Echo merge with the internet service provider operations of GIN in markets across Africa. GIN is a pan-African service provider with its main interests in the Telecommunications and ICT arenas and is the majority shareholder in iWayAfrica.
GIN CEO Mathew Welthagen said the timing of the deal aligned with GIN’s expansion phase of the business. “This is a definitive leap forward on our path to higher growth which will unlock even greater value for shareholders and customers and more opportunity for employees.”