Cell C mum on Telkom mobile assets

2013-11-28 13:37

Acquiring the mobile assets of Telkom could “make sense” for rival operator Cell C, its acting head said, although he declined to say whether it would make a formal bid.

Fixed-line operator Telkom said this month it was in talks with some parties over the future of its struggling mobile business, which lags well behind market leader Vodacom and rivals MTN and Cell C.

Analysts have said unlisted Cell C would be a likely bidder given its need to add scale.

“Anyone standing on the outside looks in and says ‘It could potentially make sense,” Jose Dos Santos, Cell C’s acting chief executive, told Reuters today when asked about Telkom’s assets.

“That’s for the shareholders to comment. They’re looking at it very closely and they’ll decide on the way forward.”

Dos Santos has temporarily taken over from chief executive Alan Knott-Craig, who suffered a minor stroke last week.

Dos Santos said he expected a full recovery by Knott-Craig in the “not-too-distant future”.

“The capacity that Alan is going to come back in, that’s up to Alan and the shareholders,” he said.

Cell C is 75% owned by Dubai-based Oger Telecom, which is controlled by Saudi Oger Ltd. - Reuters

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