A possible bid by a consortium that includes former CEO Sipho Maseko to buy a stake in Telkom is still at an exploratory stage, the JSE-listed telecommunications group said on Monday.
Telkom was responding to media reports that Maseko, through his investment vehicle Afrifund Investments, and Mauritius-based Axian Telecom are readying an offer to buy a controlling stake in the business. The Maseko/Axian bid is reportedly backed by Telkom shareholder the Public Investment Corp, which owns the Government Employees Pension Fund.
“The company confirms that it has received an unsolicited, non-binding indicative letter from the consortium for the acquisition of a controlling stake in Telkom, the merits of which are being assessed by the Telkom board of directors in accordance with its fiduciary duties,” Telkom said in a statement issued via the JSE.
“In this regard, the company has requested the consortium to provide further clarity on several matters, including the proposed offer price and certainty of funding. As such, discussions remain of an exploratory and non-consensual nature, there being no certainty that the outcome of these discussions will result in a transaction,” it added.
“However, having regard to the continued detailed media speculation and Telkom awaiting further clarity, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s shares until such time as a further announcement is made.”
More details about the Maseko/Axian consortium bid may emerge on Tuesday when Telkom delivers its annual results for the period ended 31 March 2023.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend (paywall) that the consortium offered R46/share for a stake in Telkom, but that was immediately rejected as being too low. It also reported that MTN Group could revive its interest in buying out Telkom. MTN walked away from talks earlier this year after Telkom entertained a rival offer from wireless broadband upstart Rain.
Telkom shares rallied as much as 12.3% in morning trading in Johannesburg on Monday. They were last quoted 6.3% higher at R31.68 as of 10.10am. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media