Telkom, South Africa’s biggest fixed-line telephone group, may be closer to buying Cell C – the country’s third mobile phone operator. Telkom announced on Monday it was involved in unspecified talks. By Gugu Lourie
“Shareholders are advised that Telkom is in discussions which may have a material effect on the price of Telkom’s securities,” Telkom released statement shortly after the market opened on Monday.
The telco, which is valued at more than R35 billion, advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in it’s shares until a further announcement is made regarding the unspecified discussions.
The sale of Cell C, has seen some telcos drop out of the bidding race, because the country’s third mobile phone operator’s Dubai-based parent company, Oger Telecom, has placed a price tag that seems “too high”.
Sources close to the possible transaction on Wednesday said Telkom was the only serious bidder left in the race.
Last month, Oger Telecom’s chief legal officer and Deputy CEO Mazen Abou Chakra revealed to Business Day that six groups had approached the Dubai-based firm with interest in acquiring their stake in Cell C.
“At the right price, Telkom would certainly consider Cell C, as it would any other synergistic partnerships either locally or internationally,” Telkom spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan in an email response told TechFinancials.co.za on Wednesday.