American Tower Corp to acquire Telkom Kenya sites

NAIROBI (Reuters) - America Tower Corporation will acquire Telkom Kenya's transmission towers in a deal expected to be concluded in the second half of this year, allowing Telkom to invest in its internet network, the two companies said on Monday.

The sale by Telkom Kenya, which is 60 percent owned by London-based Helios Investment Partners and is Kenya's third-biggest telecoms company by users, takes American Tower Corp into its fifth African country and 17th worldwide.

The companies said in a joint statement that they had reached agreement for American Tower Corp to acquire up to 723 towers from Telko. Neither company disclosed the price agreed.

"The sale will release capital for further investment in our 4G network and a number of state-of-the-art IT platforms, all of which will further enhance services for our customers," Telkom Kenya CEO Aldo Mareuse said.

Telkom Kenya and the local unit of Indian-owned Bharti Airtel have a combined 23 percent of Kenya's 41 million mobile subscribers but have long struggled to compete with sector leader Safaricom, which has a 71.9 percent market share.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by David Goodman)

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