JOHANNESBURG, (Reuters) – South African telecoms group Telkom said on Monday it had rejected an approach from Oger Telecoms, sending its shares down about nine percent.
Telkom said in a statement it will not consider the sale of the group, or any of its units or joint ventures, without a strategic rationale.
Shares in Telkom were the heaviest losers on the JSE Securities Exchange’s blue chip Top-40 index , falling as much as 9.25 percent to 132.49 rand by 1045 GMT.
“The turning down of the approach from Oger is the big reason why the shares have fallen,” said Gryphon Asset Management portfolio manager Jan Meintjes.
Telkom said it had turned down United Arab Emirates-based Oger because it was not in the interest of shareholders.
Oger, controlled by the family of late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, also operates in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan, providing fixed-line, mobile and internet services.
Telkom’s board has also decided to slash its investment in Telkom Media, to invest in a fixed wireless voice and data network and a mobile data network.
Meintjes said the move to scale down investment in Telkom Media, which plans to enter the South African pay-TV market dominated by Naspers’ Multichoice unit, was positive.
Talks between Telkom and South African mobile phone operator MTN over the sale of the former’s fixed-line business were called off in November, also ending Telkom’s hopes of selling its Vodacom stake to joint owner Vodafone.
Telkom said talks to sell part of its mobile phone assets to Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone company by revenue, had hinged on a successful deal to sell all or some of its fixed-line assets to MTN.