Tanzanian businessman Ali Mufuruki has moved to acquire additional shares and assets in Wananchi Cable (T) Ltd, a subsidiary of Wananchi Group Holdings of Kenya, which deals in the provision of Internet, voice and pay TV under the brand name of Zuku across the region.
The EastAfrican has learnt that Mr Mufuruki is seeking to take over control of the Wananchi Group subsidiary as he moves to strengthen his position in the telecommunications sector.
Currently, he holds a 35 per cent shareholding in Wananchi Cable (T) Ltd and a similar stake (35 per cent) in the Internet provider, Simbanet (T) Ltd.
Wananchi Group owns A 65 per cent stake in Simbanet (T) Ltd
Tanzania’s Fair Competition Commission said it had already received a notification of Mr Mufuruki’s proposed acquisition.
“FCC is currently investigating the intended acquisition in line with the provisions of the Fair Competition Act, No. 8 of 2003 and the Competition Rules, 2018,” the FCC said in a public notice.
The EastAfrican could not immediately establish further details of the proposed acquisition, including the proportion of shares and the pricing.
Last year, Mr Mufuruki disclosed his intention to take control of Wananchi Cable (T) Ltd.
“We are working to acquire the majority shareholding in the Tanzanian subsidiary of Wananchi Group Holdings of Kenya,” Mufuruki said in December last year.
Mr Mufuruki, with investments in the telecommunications sector, also owns a one per cent shareholding in Wananchi Group Holdings and last year there were attempts to increase the shareholding to a controlling majority of 51 per cent.
Wananchi Group Holdings, formerly Wananchi Online, founded by Kenya’s ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and others in 2000, offers home entertainment and communication services to residential areas and businesses.