Telkom confirms talks; Cell-C possible target

Telkom confirms talks; Cell C possible target

28 SEP 2015

South Africa’s fixed incumbent, Telkom, said it was in acquisition talks with an unnamed party, following renewed speculation that it might buy local operator Cell C.

In a statement, the company said: “Telkom is in discussions which may have a material effect on [the] price of Telkom’s securities,” without giving details.

A link-up between Telkom and Cell C, the country’s third largest operator, became more likely after the country’s competition regulator last month rejected the incumbent’s plan to form a partnership with larger operator MTN.

Telkom has a small mobile business of its own but lags a long way behind its larger rivals.

Speculation that the incumbent is eyeing Cell C heightened after the latter’s CEO, Jose Dos Santos, last week said talks had taken place. He told Johannesburg radio station 702: “Telkom has been talking to us about the possibility of these types of transactions.”

Meanwhile, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko commented last month: “Cell C is an interesting proposition. I’d like to do something with them,”  in an interview with Reuters. “At the right price, I’m a buyer.”

He did not say whether talks had taken place on a possible offer.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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