South Africa: Telkom may be planning tower sale


Telkom may be planning to sell its network of base stations as it looks to reduce costs, though it appears discussions are at a very early stage. According to news wire agency Bloomberg, Telkom is working with consulting firm Accenture to sell its tower infrastructure and claims the potential sale could fetch between US$500m and $1bn.

However, a source close to the process, speaking to TechCentral on the condition of anonymity, said that the figures quoted are not necessarily accurate and that any decision to sell tower assets, if it’s taken, is still some way off.

TechCentral understands that Telkom recently issued a number of requests for proposals to reduce its overheads and that one of these RFPs deals specifically with the company’s tower portfolio.

There are RFPs dealing with other other assets, too, including Telkom’s property portfolio, the source said.

If Telkom does decide to go ahead with the infrastructure sale, it will become the second telecommunications operator in South Africa to sell its base stations after Cell C, which struck a deal in 2010 to sell its towers to American Tower Corp for $430m.

Telkom’s share price closed up by 1,7% on Thursday at R75/share, continuing the firming trend that started in May 2013 when it touched an all-time low below R12/share.

Source: Techcentral  5 February 2015