South Africa’s Telkom says Cell C has rejected takeover offer

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South African telecoms company Telkom SA said on Friday its takeover bid for Cell C had been rejected, a move that comes after its larger but troubled rival expanded a roaming agreement with African giant MTN Group.

Seeking to become a mobile-focused business, Telkom has tried to buy Cell C in the past. This month South Africa’s No. 4 carrier made another approach as Cell C’s debt woes raised questions over how it would survive.

“Telkom has received written notice from the Cell C board of directors rejecting its non-binding proposal,” Telkom, which is 40% owned by the state, said in a statement.

“The Telkom Board continues to believe the offer is a compelling proposition that would have created significant value for all stakeholders including Telkom’s shareholders.”

Cell C, the nation’s No. 3 carrier and majority owned by Blue Label Telecoms, confirmed it had declined the offer.

“Cell C will consider all offers which take the full value of Cell C into consideration,” the company said in a statement.Reuters said Blue Label declined to comment.

The deal with MTN will see an existing agreement, which gives Cell C access to MTN’s network in some areas of the country, expanded nationwide.

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