South African telecoms group Telkom has stated that it is in the process of selling a minority stake in Openserve, South Africa’s leading fibre network operator.
The company currently holds a 100% shareholding in Openserve.
According to Telkom’s Q4 results for the FY2023 released on February 14 2023, the company is currently undertaking a market-sounding exercise to test the breadth of interest and will initiate the sale process by the end of the current financial year.
Telkom unbundled Openserve into a standalone subsidiary in September 2022 in a move that CEO Serame Taukobong described as intended to “promote and drive autonomous ability and market visibility [for Openserve].”
Taukobong has over the last few years been adamant about the importance of fibre for Telkom as the company seeks to position itself as an enabler of 5G adoption in the country by providing the requisite fibre infrastructure for other mobile network operators in the country to build their 5G networks.
Through Openserve, Telkom has carved out a significant share of South Africa’s fibre network operator market. In fact, some experts had stated that the proposed acquisition of Telkom by MTN, which has since fallen through, was a move by the latter to use Openserve to establish its presence in the fibre market which will accelerate its 5G growth.
According to Telkom, the main reason for the sale of the minority stake in Openserve is to realise and unlock the intrinsic value of the subsidiary for shareholders