Telkom confirms it is in talks to buy Cell C

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Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Telkom [JSE: TKG] has confirmed it is in talks to buy mobile network operator Cell C. 

"Telkom has substantially concluded its due diligence, however discussions are at a preliminary stage," it said in an update to shareholders on Friday. 

"The potential acquisition will be subject to Cell C completing a financial restructuring to ensure that its gearing levels are reduced to a sustainable level as specified by Telkom and commercial contractual relationships are renegotiated to terms acceptable to Telkom," it said. 

Telkom did not provide further details, but did say the potential acquisition was subject to regulatory approval.

On Tuesday Bloomberg reported that a tie-up between Cell C and Telkom’s mobile-phone division would create a business with about 22 million subscribers.

Cell C on Friday confirmed that it had received a non-binding offer from Telkom.

"Cell C remains focused on ensuring operational efficiencies, restructuring its balance sheet, implementing a revised network strategy and improving overall liquidity," it said. 

It said it could confirms that negotiations for an expanded roaming agreement were at an advanced stage.

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