There is no new offer for Telkom, says MTN

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 13 Jun 2023
Nompilo Morafo, chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at MTN Group.
Nompilo Morafo, chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at MTN Group.

MTN Group has denied fresh buyout negotiations to control South Africa’s third-biggest mobile operator, Telkom.

The Pan-African telecom company today refuted preparing another bid for Telkom, following media speculation that MTN may again try to take control of the financially strained telephony company.

Nompilo Morafo, MTN Group chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer, comments: "Telkom is a business with good assets. MTN remains of the view that the offer made in July 2022 would have been good for shareholders of both companies and broader stakeholders. There is no offer or official discussions at the moment."

MTN made the first move on Telkom in July 2022, engaging the company in tie-up discussions.

However, it terminated talks with Telkom after the telephony group failed to provide MTN with assurances about exclusivity.

Since then, interest in Telkom has widened, opening fierce competition to control the company.

After MTN failed bid, African Rainbow Capital-backed data-only network Rain entered the contest, seeking to merge with Telkom.

The next suitor was Toto Investments, which also wanted control of Telkom’s lucrative infrastructure, which includes a fibre network and data centres.

Yesterday, Telkom confirmed a fresh takeover bid by a consortium led by former CEO Sipho Maseko through Afrifund Investments.

The consortium, which comprises Afrifund, the Public Investment Corporation – Africa’s largest asset manager – and Mauritius-based Axian Telecom, is bidding for a 35% stake in Telkom.