“As we speak, there is no deal that I am looking at or the the board is looking at in relation to MTN,” Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said in reply to questions at the company’s interim results presentation on Tuesday.
Maseko was responding to questions from analysts about a Bloomberg News report on Sunday which cited unnamed sources “familiar with the matter” as saying that MTN Group recently expressed an interest in acquiring Telkom.
“We can’t comment much on what has been in the media except to say there is no deal that is being considered by Telkom,” Maseko said. “We will probably just say that.”
MTN is said to have approached Telkom at least twice previously, dating back at least a decade.
TechCentral learnt in May last year of an apparent informal approach by MTN to Telkom – the publication did not report on this at the time as it wasn’t able to determine the veracity of the information from a second source.
TechCentral understands that MTN Group chairman Mcebisi Jonas has pushed for the deal to happen, though there is scepticism that it would pass regulatory muster. Any deal is likely to meet significant resistance from competitors, making it far from clear that the Competition Commission or communications regulator Icasa would give it their blessing.
Bloomberg News quoted its sources as saying Telkom had so far shown no interest in a sale. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media