Telkom SA SOC Ltd., South Africa’s biggest landline provider, sees a potential acquisition of closely held wireless company Cell C Pty Ltd. as a way to grow its own mobile-phone business.
Cell C “may be part of our solution,” Chairman Jabu Mabuza said in an interview in Johannesburg on Wednesday. “Our mobile business is one that needs scale, so we’ll continue to look for opportunities.”
Telkom operates South Africa’s fourth-biggest mobile phone provider, and needs to grow the business to help offset declining revenues from its larger fixed-line unit. Cell C, the country’s third-largest wireless carrier, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a review of the company that could lead to a change in ownership, Chief Executive Officer Jose Dos Santos said in May.
Telkom is about 40 percent owned by the South African government. The shares gained 0.3 percent to 61.68 rand as of 12:55 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 32.5 billion rand ($2.5 billion). Cell C is majority owned by Dubai-based Oger Telecom Ltd.