Rain ordered to retract Telkom merger statement

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Data-only network provider Rain has been instructed to retract a statement that it wants to merge with Telkom, with the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) declaring it unlawful. 

In a strongly worded statement, the TRP said that the media announcement, made earlier on Thursday, was issued without its approval, as required by law.

"Furthermore, the announcement was issued notwithstanding the TRP’s instructions to Rain that no such announcement should be made without the prior approval of the TRP," the body said.

The TRP said it noted the announcement with "grave concern", and that it was unlawful. Rain has been instructed  to retract the announcement.

Meanwhile, Telkom told Bloomberg that it has not received an offer or proposal from Rain. "Telkom notes the media statement by rain titled 'Rain proposes merger with Telkom'," the company said. "Telkom can confirm that no offer or proposal has been received."

In its announcement, Rain said it made a formal request to present the Telkom board with a proposal that would ultimately result in the merger of the two companies.

Last month, MTN and Telkom announced that they were in early negotiations about a deal that would see MTN buy Telkom in return for shares or a combination of cash and shares.

The TRP reports to the Minister of Trade and Industry. It regulates transactions that involve public companies. 

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