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State gives MTN-Telkom deal thumbs-up

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Government – the majority shareholder in Telkom – has come out in support of current negotiations for MTN to buy Telkom's fixed-line assets. 

The two companies last week renewed their cautionary statements as they are still locked in talks regarding the purchase on Telkom assets by MTN.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Department of Communications states: "As government, we are in principle supportive of the current discussions contained in the cautionary issued by each of the companies.
"We will await additional information in this regard prior to commenting further.
"The Department of Communications is working with others in an interdepartmental task team to ensure that the interest of the country, all the workers and those of shareholders (including Khulisa shareholders) is protected."
The government owns 54% of Telkom – 38% by the Department of Communications and 15,27% by the Public Investment Corporation. It also owns a portion of Neotel and all the shares in both Sentech and Infraco.
Telkom is also currently talking to Vodafone about the sale of its interests in Vodacom.