Kenyan operator Yu, owned by India-based Essar Telecom, has been forced to freeze network expansion following delays in talks with a strategic investor meant to inject cash into the firm. CEO Madhur Taneja told the Business Daily that talks meant to be concluded by September have been pushed to 2014, delaying plans by the operator to widen its footprint in Kenya and upgrade its network from 2G to 3G.
Taneja said the prolonged negotiations are a product of uncertainties over the March Presidential elections, which had an impact on all businesses. The financing plans are expected to conclude by early 2014. Yu has appointed BNP Paribas to lead the talks with potential investors. Essar did not say whether the strategic investor will acquire a stake in the operator or will just offer debt to the firm, but in court documents filed in June rival Airtel said Essar was seeking to sell some of its shares.