Safaricom changes name in compliance with regulations

Safaricom Chairman Nicholas Ng'ang'a (C) during a question and answer session at the firm's headquarters in Nairobi. [File picture]
NAIROBI, KENYA: Technology company Safaricom has changed its name in compliance with section 53 of the Companies Act, 2015.

The company will now be Safaricom PLC instead of Safaricom Limited with effect from January 31, 2018.

According to section 53 of the companies act, a company that is both a limited company and public company may only be registered with a name that ends with the words "public limited company" or the abbreviation "plc".

On the other hand, a company that is both a limited company and private company may be registered only with a name that ends with the word "limited" or the abbreviation "ltd."

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Last year the shareholders of Safaricom approved a resolution to change the company name from Safaricom Limited to Safaricom Plc.

“All contractual relationships and obligations that the company has with its customers, partners and other stakeholders are not affected by this change of name,” said Kathryne Maundu, Company Secretary.

Late February, the company gained a reprieve after a firm contracted to assess competition in Kenya’s telco industry backed down from an earlier proposal to split Safaricom’s business.

UK consultancy firm Analysys Mason said it changed its tune after consultations with industry players.

An earlier draft of the study’s report had proposed the separation of Safaricom and M-Pesa, both operationally and in financial reporting, which would in effect have created a new entity.

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“This remedy could be seen as disproportionate and constraining the CA’s (Communications Authority) discretion to act as it saw fit at the time. The final report is therefore silent on what further remedies the CA might consider,” said the firm in Nairobi during a public debate where it presented the report titled Telecommunication Competition Market Study in Kenya.

Standard Group, BAT Kenya, KCB and CFC Stanbic are among companies that have changed name to plc in compliance with the new law.

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SafaricomBob Collymore