JSE-listed telecommunications group Altech is to increase its stake in Kenya Data Networks (KDN) from 51% to 60,8% in a transaction worth US$39,5m. The capital injection will be used to expand KDN’s fibre-optic network.
Altech and its co-shareholder in KDN, the Sameer Group, have also invested $7,5m to build a data centre in Nairobi in Kenya. The data centre will offer disaster recovery, virtual application hosting, data and application backup, and an “ethical hacking” centre and data archiving facility to clients in the areas that will be connected by planned undersea cables.
The data centre will be ready for service in about 12 months.
The additional stake that Altech has acquired in KDN is made up of non-voting shares. This has been done to preserve the “strong minority shareholder local influence in KDN” through the Sameer Group, says Altech CEO Craig Venter (pictured).
“This local influence is essential for retention of expertise and knowledge of the region,” he says.
Altech is spending hundreds of millions of rand on fibre-optic infrastructure in East Africa as it builds its presence in the region. It has bought significant capacity on the Seacom undersea cable and is an equity investor in the Kenya’s East Africa Marine System.
With its access to undersea cables, Venter says KDN is in a good position to provide data warehousing services in East Africa and the Middle East. — Staff reporter, TechCentral