Telkom, a long-term suitor of Cell C, said on Tuesday it is in talks on an acquisition, sparking speculation that it is seeking to buy the debt-laden rival as part of its plan to break the stranglehold of mobile giants MTN and Vodacom.

Sipho Maseko, CEO of the landline operator in which the state holds a 40% stake, declined to expand on the company’s target, citing confidentiality clauses.

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