South African gov’t identifies potential Telkom buyers

13 Nov 2017

The South African government has identified potential buyers for its 39.3% stake in telecoms operator Telkom, with CEO Sipho Maseko disclosing to TechCentral: ‘[the government] has communicated that they have identified a buyer or buyers to sell to … The sale will most likely be done through a private placement.’ The government is Telkom’s largest shareholder by some distance, while the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) owns 11.6% of the company’s share capital; none of the other shareholders had more than 5% of the company.

As previously reported by TeleGeography, last month the state disclosed plans to sell a ‘portion’ of its Telkom stake to ensure the country’s fiscal expenditure ceiling is not breached by the additional funding needed to recapitalise South African Airways (SAA) and the South African Post Office. Finance minister Malusi Gigaba said: ‘We have decided to dispose of a portion of government’s Telkom shares. We do not take this decision lightly, but we have had to in order to maintain the credibility of the expenditure ceiling,’ adding that the government will have the option to buy back the shares at a later date.

South Africa, Telkom South Africa