Telkom South Africa wants to sell stake in Openserve
Telkom, South Africa’s incumbent operator, wants to sell a minority stake in Openserve, its wholesale last-mile fibre unit.
The company said this week that the process could be launched by the end of March, but it has not yet said how much of Openserve it wants to sell.
Openserve (pictured) began operating as an autonomous unit in September 2022 following a legal separation from Telkom. Openserve’s 169,000km fibre network reaches a million homes.
Now, Telkom says it is talking to the market to gauge interest in a stake in Openserve.
According to the Ecofin agency, a minority stake in Openserve could interest MTN, which approached Telkom last year with a view to a takeover, a process that was ultimately unsuccessful. That would allow MTN to compete with its rival Vodacom, which is in the process of acquiring 30% in Maziv, parent company of Vumatel and Dark Fiber Africa (DFA), rivals of Openserve.
Last month Telkom said it wants to offer wholesale capacity on its mobile network to virtual network operators. Telkom will be competing with both MTN and Vodacom, which will be offering virtual network services as a licence requirement, as well as Cell C, which has been in the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business for some years.
In July 2022 MTN was in talks to buy Telkom, but the discussions came to nothing.