Buying Telkom SA mobile assets could 'make sense' - Cell C acting head - CNBC Africa

Buying Telkom SA mobile assets could 'make sense' - Cell C acting head

Southern Africa

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Telkom and Cell C.

Its acting head said on Thursday, although he declined to say whether it would make a formal bid.

Fixed-line operator Telkom SA said this month it was in talks with some parties over the future of its struggling mobile business, which lags well behind market leader Vodacom and rivals MTN and Cell C.

Analysts have said unlisted Cell C, South Africa's third-largest player, would be a likely bidder given its need to add scale.

"Anyone standing on the outside looks in and says 'It could potentially make sense,'" Jose Dos Santos, Cell C's acting chief executive, told Reuters when asked about Telkom's assets.

"That's for the shareholders to comment. They're looking at it very closely and they'll decide on the way forward."

Dos Santos has temporarily taken over from Chief Executive Alan Knott-Craig, who suffered a minor stroke last week. 

Dos Santos said he expected a full recovery by Knott-Craig in the "not-too-distant future".

"The capacity that Alan is going to come back in, that's up to Alan and the shareholders," he said.

Cell C is 75 percent owned by Dubai-based Oger Telecom, which is controlled by Saudi Oger.