Neither MTN nor Telkom will be drawn on reports that MTN is bidding, along with another party, to buy Telkom's fixed line business.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that MTN, which has a market capitalisation of R184-billion and about R19-billion cash on hand, has already made an offer for the fixed line assets but has been told to resubmit the bid for an upcoming board meeting.
Calls for clarity from both Telkom and MTN this morning have been met with silence, although an MTN spokesman directed IT-Online to CEO Phutuma Nhleko's previous comments that the company is always talking to various people.
MTN has always been open about its dissatisfaction with Telkom's fixed line costs and is in constant talks with both Telkom and Neotel, he says.
However, there is currently nothing to confirm regarding reports that MTN may be buying Telkom's fixed line business, says the spokesman.
Telkom has also declined to comment on calls for clarity on how a sale of Telkom's fixed line assets would affect the local loop unbundling, set to be complete by 2011.
The Sunday Times says that both MTN and a consortium headed by Barend Hendricks have placed bids for the fixed line business.
It's not clear how selling its fixed line assets would help Telkom fulfil its mandate of providing telecommunications services to the people of South Africa.
Neither Telkom or MTN had published cautionary statements as of this morning.