Telkom ‘discussions’ fuel Cell C acquisition rumour

Telkom has warned shareholders that it “is in discussions” which may have a material effect on its share price.

The telco advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in its  securities until a further announcement is made in this regard.

While Telkom did not elaborate on its discussions, in September, the group’s CEO Sipho Maseko expressed some interest in buying South Africa’s third largest mobile operator, Cell C, calling it an “interesting proposition”.

“At the right price, I’m a buyer,” Maseko said.

Last month Business Day reported that six groups have displayed interest in acquiring Cell C.

The business publication cited a direct quote from Cell C parent company, Oger Telecom’s chief legal officer and deputy CEO, Mazen Abou Chakra.

“Six groups approached us with interest in acquiring our stake in Cell C,” Chakra said, adding that no decision has been taken on the matter.

Oger Telecom noted in March 2015 that is looking to sell its 75% stake in the local operator, following revised termination rates implemented by Icasa.

Though the Oger executive did not mention any names or details about the six groups vying for the share, Telkom has been open about having its eye on Cell C.

Cell C chief executive Jose dos Santos said last week, that Cell C has engaged with its competitors over a potential acquisition. Nothing material has come of the discussions, however, Dos Santos said.

“People talk all the time,” he said.

He added that the discussions have not only been with local players, but international players too.

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Telkom ‘discussions’ fuel Cell C acquisition rumour