Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Telkom considering sale of mobile phone towers in South Africa

According to a report by Bloomberg, South African telecommunications provider Telkom, is looking to cut costs on its mobile service offering by selling off a section of mobile phone towers – in South Africa. B l o o m b e r g cited that individuals with knowledge on the matter made the reveal. According to Bloomberg’s source, who wished to remain a n o n y m o u s according to Bloomberg, the sale could fetch as much as $500 million to $1 billion. The source revealed that Telkom is allegedly working with consulting firm Accenture PLC on the sale, which may attract tower operators such as IHS Holding Ltd. of Nigeria and Helios Towers Africa, the people said. No final decision has been made and talks may still falter, they said.

Bloomberg continued the report by stating that carriers in emerging markets including the Middle East and Africa are offloading towers. They cost more to run in such regions than in other parts of the world because of the need for backup generators and batteries to guard against power failures.

Kuwait’s largest wireless carrier, known as Zain, is working with Citigroup Inc. on the possible sale of towers in two Gulf countries, people familiar with the matter said last month. IT News Africa has reached out to Telkom regarding the matter; however, no comment has yet been obtained from Telkom. Update: According to a spokesperson at Telkom: “The report is speculative; however, Telkom has stated many times in the past (most recently at the Company’s interim results), that Telkom is continuing its review of all properties, assets and infrastructure within the company’s portfolio. This review is considering a wide range from potential options. The primary focus of the review is to optimise the use of our facilities and assets while also considering any potential commercial opportunities.”


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