Vodacom Gains on Talks to Buy Tata’s Neotel: Johannesburg Mover

Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD), South Africa’s largest wireless operator, rose to the highest in almost nine months after it was said to be entering exclusive talks to acquire Internet provider Neotel Pty Ltd.

The Johannesburg-based carrier gained as much as 2 percent to 128.46 rand ($12.75), the highest since Jan. 4 on a closing basis, and was trading 0.5% up at 126.64 rand at 10:05 a.m. About 531,000 shares, or more than 25 percent of the three-month daily average, changed hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Vodacom, which is 65 percent owned by Vodafone Group Plc, is in talks to buy Tata Communications Ltd. (TCOM)’s closely held South African unit, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Mobile operators are turning increasingly to fixed-line assets that allow them to sell a wider range of services and carry data traffic more efficiently. This year Vodacom’s parent, Newbury, England-based Vodafone (VOD), bid 7.7 billion euros ($10.4 billion) for Kabel Deutschland, a German fixed-line telephony, cable TV and Internet-access service provider.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Spillane in Johannesburg at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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