South Africa’s telecom operator, MTN Group, has reportedly walked away from talks to acquire Telkom, sending the partly state-owned telecommunications operator’s shares crashing nearly 25 per cent.
In a statement to investors on Wednesday (19 October 2022), Telkom said that “MTN terminated discussions in relation to the MTN proposal on 18 October as Telkom was not in a position to provide MTN with assurances around exclusivity. Discussions were at an early stage and had not progressed to due diligence, nor had a binding offer been received by the Telkom board of directors.”
According to media reports, the decision to walk away comes after MTN appeared to get cold feet about an acquisition at the end of September. This was after Telkom said its board was entertaining a separate proposal from wireless broadband operator Rain.
However, MTN has not yet issued a statement about the latest developments.
Earlier this month, MTN reported that talks had stalled after Telkom issued a Sens statement that stated the board had received a proposal to acquire Rain. This appeared to signal a willingness by Telkom to engage with Rain about its proposal.