Cell C owner said to reject $1bn offer from Telkom

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Oger Telecom has rejected a R14 billion ($1 billion) offer from Africa’s largest fixed-line operator, Telkom, for its 75% stake in South African wireless carrier Cell C, 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 R22 billion 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% and traded 0.94% lower at R70.56 at the close in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R37 billion. 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 R18 billion for the business, which has 14 billion rand of debt, people familiar with the matter said last month.
Source: 2015 Bloomberg News