Telkom and Business Connexion (BCX) have agreed to suspend talks following the death on Wednesday of BCX CEO Benjamin Mophatlane. The two had been in negotiations following the telecommunications operator’s decision to table a R2,7bn offer to buy the IT services company.
Mophatlane died on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack during a meeting in Rosebank in Johannesburg. He had been meeting with representatives of Telkom when he complained of chest pains before collapsing. He was 41.
“As a result of this tragic blow to the BCX leadership and out of respect to the memory of Benjamin Mophatlane and his family, Telkom and BCX have jointly agreed to suspend current activities pursuant to the transaction during the mourning period,” the two companies said in a joint statement to shareholders and investors.
“Both organisations remain committed to the transaction and will recommence the process in due course,” they said.
The Takeover Regulation Panel has granted an extension for the posting of the circular relating to the transaction until 11 July.
Meanwhile, telecoms and postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele has said in a statement that he has received the news of Mophatlane’s death with sadness.
“In life, Mophatlane embodied the undying spirit of the youth of 1976. Just two years into our democracy, he was part of young people who started a leading IT company that is today an employer to 6 000 people and thousands of subcontractors,” Cwele said.
“Their enterprising spirit and never-give-up attitude was due honour to all those who fought gallantly for a South Africa where young people had the freedom to dream.
“Mophatlane was also a patriot. He partnered with the government in efforts to transform the IT sector and society at large. He gave generously of his time and considerable insights into the sector to causes that sought to transform our society. We thank his family for supporting him in these and other endeavours.” — © 2014 NewsCentral Media