Telkom South Africa told shareholders it was assessing a separate company listing for a business housing its mast and tower assets, with a final decision on the move expected by the end of its financial year in March 2022.

In a Johannesburg Stock Exchange announcement the operator said it researched several options for the unit before making its decision to investigate a listing.

The tower business operates as Swiftnet and has been running as a separate company for more than three years.

Swiftnet owns and operates 6,200 towers in South Africa. It supplies various telecommunications services including passive mobile infrastructure, in-building coverage systems and small cells to its parent company and third parties.

Any proceeds will be used by Telkom to reinvest in its core business and “rebase the balance sheet”.

Telkom was the third-largest of five operators in South Africa by connections at end-Q2 on almost 16 million, GSMA Intelligence data showed.

It is currently switching its CEO, with Serame Taukobong set to take over from incumbent Sipho Maseko in June 2022 following a handover period of almost nine months.

Telkom is one of many operators around the globe assessing their passive infrastructure assets with a spate of sales to investment companies and spin-off businesses taking place in recent years.