Zuku’s parent company, Wananchi Group, has hired US-Based asset management firm, Lazard Limited to seek buyers for the company reports Bloomberg. Wananchi, which owns a number of brands including Zuku, SimbaNET, iSat among other Wananchi branded services, is said to be valued at $500 million including debts.
According to reports, Wananchi Group shareholders, Liberty Global, telecommunications company Altice Europe NV and Helios Investment Partners are looking to dispose of their shares.
In 2014, Wananchi Group raised a total of $130 million, which was used for regional expansion. At the moment, the company has a footprint in five African countries, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia, offering both satellite TV services and fiber internet.
Recently, Wananchi Group has been accused by Kenya’s Revenue collector of tax evasion amounting to $30 million. This among other boardroom issues could be the reason behind shareholders sudden need to flee.
According to sources, the plans to sell are still very early but we will wait to see how things play out. However, we do not expect that a sale of Wananchi Group would necessarily mean the end of Zuku TV and Zuku Fiber among other products, at least we hope so, seeing that the company has been on top of the broadband internet in Kenya for a while now, a seat it might not enjoy for long if Safaricom’s aggressive expansion is an indication of things to come.