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Wananchi secures $130m in financing round

African pay TV and broadband operator Wananchi Group has closed a US$130 million round of funding to fund “growth and expansion in east and southern Africa”.

The investment was co-led by existing Wananchi shareholders, including major cable firms Liberty Global and Altice, African private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners, Mauritius-based ATMT and new African investor Helios Investment Partners.

Wananchi vice-chairman Richard Bell said the new funds will be used to consolidate the firm’s position in east Africa and to extend its services in the eastern and southern parts of the continent.

“We will continue the deployment of fibre to the home networks in more cities in east Africa and extend our business services networks and product offerings across a wide variety of geographies and market segments,” said Bell.

“With our stronger balance sheet we will also invest in exciting new technologies and service platforms to improve the quality of our products and deliver a superior experience for our customers.”

Wananchi chairman of the board Ali Mufuruki said that the significant size of the investment round is “further proof that the markets have confidence in our business strategy and our performance to date.”

“There is no better time than now to invest in African markets and the transformation of the African consumer experience, of whichWananchi is at the forefront in east Africa”.

Helios partner Alykhan Nathoo said he now expects the Wananchi Group to extend its infrastructure coverage and build up its broadband-led triple play offering, “including direct to home satellite products to many more tens of thousands of consumers across the greater Eastern Africa region and beyond.”

Wananchi was established six years ago in Kenya and provides pay TV and broadband services in Eastern Africa under the business brands Zuku pay TV, Zuku Fiber and Simbanet.