Cell C Owner Said to Reject $1 Billion Offer From Telkom

  • Cell C is South Africa's third-biggest wireless company
  • Oger is seeking as much as $1.6 Billion for the business

Oger Telecom Ltd. has rejected a 14 billion rand ($1 billion) offer from Africa’s largest fixed-line operator, Telkom SA SOC Ltd., for its 75 percent stake in South African wireless carrier Cell C Pty Ltd., according to a person familiar with the matter.

Telkom is now conducting due diligence on whether to make a renewed offer for Dubai-based Oger’s stake in South Africa’s third-largest mobile-phone company, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. Oger, which is seeking as much as 22 billion rand for closely held Cell C, has set a late November deadline for a new offer, according to the person.

Oger’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mazen Abou Chakra declined to comment. Telkom spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan said the company would share “any relevant information" when required to do so.

Telkom shares fell as much as 2.4 percent and traded 0.9 percent lower at 70.56 rand as of 5 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 37 billion rand. Cell C is closely held.

Telkom operates South Africa’s fourth-biggest mobile-phone provider and is seeking to grow the business to help offset declining sales at its larger fixed-line unit. The Pretoria-based company is prepared to pay no more than 18 billion rand for the business, which has 14 billion rand of debt, people familiar with the matter said last month.

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