The CEO of MTN South Africa warned the nation’s economy could be damaged if troubled rival Cell C failed, as the company became the latest to express interest in acquiring the operator, Business Report stated.

Godfrey Motsa told the South African financial newspaper MTN would offer aid to its sickly rival if there was a clear economic value to the move, highlighting the potential loss of thousands of direct and indirect jobs if Cell C collapsed. The executive cited a broader ecosystem of suppliers along with the loss of taxes as examples.

MTN reportedly entered the race to acquire Cell C, which is struggling to contend with mounting losses and debt.

If accurate, the South African operator would go head-to-head with local rival Telkom and the world’s biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, which reportedly opened discussions with Cell C regarding an acquisition earlier this month. Telkom abandoned a previous takeover bid in 2017, but is apparently again keen on pursuing a deal.

While Cell C and MTN remained tight lipped on the status of takeover talks, the latter reportedly confirmed a fresh roaming deal was close to being agreed.

Business Report placed Cell C’s current debt at ZAR9 billion ($608.5 million).