MTN Group, Africa’s largest telecommunications provider, has called off talks to acquire Telkom, a South African telco.
The deal would have enabled MTN to become South Africa’s biggest operator for mobile customers, surpassing Vodacom, the current market leader.
In a statement to investors published shortly after markets opened on Wednesday, Telkom said ongoing discussions for possible acquisition have been terminated because it could not offer assurances around exclusivity to MTN.
“MTN terminated discussions in relation to the MTN proposal on 18 October as Telkom was not in a position to provide MTN with assurances around exclusivity,” Telkom said.
“Discussions were at an early stage and had not progressed to due diligence nor had a binding offer been received by the Telkom board of directors.
“The Telkom board has a legal and fiduciary duty to consider all bonafide offers.
“Shareholders are, therefore, advised that they no longer need to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities.
“Telkom continues to execute its strategy to unlock value for shareholders and will provide an update to the market on progress in due course.”
Telkom’s share price plunged on the news, losing over 22 percent to trade at around R34.79.