A shopper walks past a Telkom shop at a mall in Johannesburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIEW SEBEKO
A shopper walks past a Telkom shop at a mall in Johannesburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIEW SEBEKO

Telkom, which has been investing heavily to beef up its mobile operations, says it is in talks to make a major acquisition. 

On Tuesday, the partially state-owned telecoms provider said: "Shareholders are advised that Telkom is in discussions in relation to a potential acquisition, which if successfully concluded, may have a material effect on the price of the company's securities."

Telkom has in the past made a bid to buy out the country’s number three operator, Cell C, which is facing financial difficulties. 

The operator initially tried to take over Cell C in 2017, only to be rejected in favour of a recapitalisation plan led by Blue Label Telecoms, now Cell C's largest shareholder with a 45% stake.

Speculation has been rife about potential investors for the orange branded network, laden with about R9bn in debt, from the Buffet Consortium led by reclusive billionaire Jonathan Beare and talk of Chinese operator China Mobile coming in.

For now, the market will have to wait for more clarity from Telkom. The operator advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in the company's securities until a further announcement is made and more details are given about the potential deal. 

gavazam@businesslive.co.za