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Telkom readies to offload masts and towers business

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 13 Jun 2023
Serame Taukobong, Telkom Group CEO.
Serame Taukobong, Telkom Group CEO.

South Africa’s third largest mobile operator Telkom is close to offloading its masts and towers business, Swiftnet.

The company today reported performance for the year ended March, revealing the disposal of Swiftnet is imminent.

Telkom’s plan to unbundle Swiftnet was first announced in September 2021, when then-CEO Sipho Maseko, said the unit’s value was not fairly reflected in the company’s share price.

However, last year the telephony company abandoned a plan to list Swiftnet on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and began scouting for a buyer for the business.

Today, Serame Taukobong, Telkom Group CEO, said: “The process for the disposal of Swiftnet is at an advanced stage, with the decision on the offers received expected during the first half of the current financial year."

In the current reporting period, Telkom said, Swiftnet continued commercialising its portfolio and saw marginal revenue growth of 0.9% to R1 304 million, driven by the construction of 66 additional towers and eight new in-building coverage solutions sites.

It notes: “Continued modernisation by mobile network operators on our sites, coupled with new base station sites and the deployment of 5G by our clients, grew revenue from continuing customers by 10.3%, mitigating the impact of terminations and decommissioning by two customers.

“After launching its first 5G outdoor Distribution Antenna System small cell sites, for future site deployments in support of our customers' 5G rollout plans, Swiftnet successfully tested the technical capability of our Power-as-a-Service solution. Swiftnet's EBITDA margin remains healthy at 68.8%.”

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