Telkom gets R32bn mobile investment bid

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Johannesburg - Telkom SA SOC Ltd., Africa’s largest fixed-line operator, has received a proposal that would see $3 billion spent on buying and expanding its mobile infrastructure, South African-based BusinessTech reported, citing a document it obtained.

Its stock gained.

An unidentified southeast Asian company wants to buy as many as 1,600 Telkom mobile towers with a plan to build another 8,400 towers, the news website said today.

The investment would boost jobs and help Telkom compete with MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd., according to BusinessTech.

“Telkom continues to review its operations in an effort to stabilise the business and unlock its value,” Telkom said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“The company is therefore engaging with various parties to consider best options for the business, however Telkom is not in a position to disclose any further details at this stage.”

Telkom is struggling to revive revenue among consumers in a country that has leapfrogged fixed-line technology in favour of smartphone devices.

The Pretoria-based company is in talks with competitors to share infrastructure at its wireless business, the smallest of South Africa’s four licensed operators, to help curb costs.

Telkom shares rose as much as 5.9 percent and traded 2.2 percent up at 33.73 rand as of 9:21 a.m. in Johannesburg.

The phone company has held talks with MTN, Africa’s biggest wireless operator, about an infrastructure sharing agreement, two people familiar with the matter said last year. - Bloomberg News


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