Cell C Has Held Talks With Other South African Mobile Operators

Cell C Pty Ltd., South Africa’s third-largest wireless operator has held talks with rivals as consolidation in the market is on the way, acting Chief Executive Officer Jose dos Santos said.

“There’s discussions with everybody,” dos Santos said in an interview today in Johannesburg. “The issue of the Telkom-Cell C discussions, we believe there will be consolidation and the shareholders will comment on that when appropriate.”

Telkom SA SOC Ltd. (TKG) is in discussions with various parties about its mobile unit, the country’s largest fixed-line operator said in a statement last week. Consolidation in South Africa’s telecommunications industry will occur within the next two to three years, according to dos Santos.

Cell C appointed chief commercial officer dos Santos as acting CEO of the closely held company earlier this month after Alan Knott-Craig, a veteran of South Africa’s telecommunications industry, suffered a minor stroke earlier this month. Dos Santos said he expects Knott-Craig to make a full recovery and return to the Johannesburg-based wireless operator.

The government of South Africa owns a stake of about 40 percent in Telkom.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher 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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