Telkom in bid to acquire Cell C

Telkom has announced that it is in talks to buy Cell C, an acquisition that would add South Africa’s third-biggest mobile-phone company to its wireless unit.

The land-line operator, 40% owned by the South African government, is carrying out due diligence and will update shareholders accordingly, the Pretoria-based company said in a statement on Monday. The shares gained 0.75 to R64.05 on Monday, valuing the company at R33,8-billion ($2,4-billion).
Oger Telecom has already rejected a R14-billion ($988-million) offer from Telkom for the Dubai-based company’s 75% stake in Cell C, a person familiar with the matter said last month.

Telkom operates South Africa’s fourth-biggest mobile-phone provider in a market dominated by two larger competitors, Vodacom Group and MTN Group.

“A combination of the two players makes a stronger player,” says Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub. He declined to say whether he supported or opposed the transaction on an anti-trust basis.

By Chris Spillane and John Bowker, Bloomberg

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