On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Empowerment group Ucingo Investments has turned to government for help after facing a cash crunch over payment for its 3% stake in Telkom, the value of which has dropped in line with a lower listing price. Ucingo acquired its 3% stake in 2000 for R565m using debt finance. This was granted on the assumption that the Telkom’s stock, which was valued at R33.81 a share at the time, would appreciate ahead of its listing, allowing Ucingo to repay the lenders the capital and mounting interest costs.

- Gartner Dataquest is advising telecommunications operators to "view investment in South African telecom companies with extreme caution" until at least the end of this year.In a report released earlier this month, Gartner warns that the legislative and operational framework for telecommunications is unlikely to be stable before the end of the year. It also recommends that those still interested in SA work with Telkom rather than its potential competitor.