Telkom gets bid from Vodafone

Telkom has had an offer from a Vodafone unit for its half of mobile operator Vodacom, while Mvelaphanda may lead a bid for the whole group minus the Vodacom stake, Telkom said on Monday.

Shares in Telkom jumped over 15% to R158, the highest level in six months and valuing the company at R82,28-billion ($10,84-billion). By 7.30am GMT, the shares were up 12,04% at R153,90.

Telkom said in a statement that Mvelaphanda Group, New York-listed private equity firm Och-Ziff and other strategic investors said in a letter that a consortium was considering making a bid for the Telkom group’s entire issued share capital, but without the Vodacom stake.

”The letter makes it clear that the offer will only be made if a number of pre-conditions are met including, inter alia, confirmation by the Telkom board that it will unbundle Telkom’s entire 50% stake in Vodacom as part of the offer,” Telkom said.

It said discussions with Vodafone began on May 14 and is separate from the interest expressed by the consortium.

Telkom owns 50% of Vodacom, South Africa’s leading cellphone group, and Vodafone the other half.

Mvelaphanda Group is headed by prominent black businessman Tokyo Sexwale, a close ally of African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma.

Shares in Mvelaphanda rose 2,7% to R7,60. – Reuters 2008

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