Speaking to Computer Business Review, a Vodafone spokesperson rejected a report in the South African Sunday Times newspaper, that Vodafone is poised to make an offer for Telkom. The South African fixed-line operator has also dismissed the speculation.
The speculation follows a meeting between Vodafone’s CEO Arun Sarin, and Telkom’s CEO Papi Molotsane. Both parties insist the meeting was to discuss their 50:50 joint venture in South Africa, Vodacom (Pty) Ltd.
Sarin also reportedly met senior representatives from the deputy president’s office, the trade and industry department, regulatory body Icasa, the SABC, the Public Investment Corporation and IT services group Dimension Data.
Other media reports said Vodafone had informally lifted a restriction on Vodacom operating north of the equator in Africa. Previously, it was thought Vodacom had been hamstrung by an agreement with Vodafone that effectively bans it from operating north of the equator in Africa. The thinking was that this agreement was effectively stifling Vodacom’s expansion into the rest of Africa, where demand is large due to patchy fixed-line infrastructure.