On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Telkom has been accused of reaching a secret deal to drop a court case against its subsidiary, Vodacom, to avoid telling its new public shareholders about the potentially costly legal battle. The clash involves least-cost routing, which slashes corporate phone bills by diverting calls off Telkom’s lines straight onto the cellular networks. Telkom has applied to have the practice declared illegal, and instigated action against Vodacom, MTN and several equipment suppliers. But a victory for Telkom would destroy about R1bn of revenue for Vodacom. And as Vodacom is 50% held by Telkom and accounts for at least 50% of its valuation, that massive dent to its revenue could have made Telkom shares a less attractive buy, according to the Independent Cellular Service Providers Association.

* Former Tradek boss Paul Theron has joined media company Moneyweb in a partnership to launch an online financial management service, Vestact. After Tradek was bought late last year by the Northpark consortium, Theron left the company, evidently partly displeased about the new owners’ plans to diversity away from online trading. Vestact will see Theron revive the concept of an internet trading platform. Vestact is an online financial management service, allowing clients to buy JSE shares and invest through the internet.