Telkom shares rose more than 10% on Monday after a report at the weekend, citing unnamed sources, said former CEO Sipho Maseko is spearheading a bid to buy 35% of the partially state-owned telecommunications group.
The shares closed up 10.5% at R27.96.
Bloomberg News reported on Saturday that the Public Investment Corporation – which invests retirement funds on behalf of South African civil servants – is backing a possible bid by Maseko for the 35% stake, worth about R4.5-billion at the current share price.
Maseko, who took the reins at Telkom in April 2013 and who led several big restructurings at the group, stepped down in December 2021, making way for his successor, Serame Taukobong.
Telkom’s share price has come under considerable pressure this year amid a R13-billion write-down in assets and a decision by rival MTN Group to walk away from talks to acquire the company.
The 35% stake could be combined with the PIC’s current shareholding to boost the overall holding of the group, Bloomberg said, citing sources. The PIC holds 13.4% of Telkom’s equity, while the government owns 40.5% of the operator directly.