From Mail & Guardian
Vodacom Group and MTN Group, South Africa’s largest wireless companies, have expressed interest in expanding into Madagascar by buying Telecom Malagasy SA, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Johannesburg-based companies are interested in acquiring closely-held Telma, as the carrier is called, to diversify sources of revenue, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Telma, based in the Madagascar capital of Antananarivo, is seeking a buyer, people familiar with the matter said in February. It is valued at about $500-million, one of the people said at the time.
South African wireless companies are looking at other African markets as consumers increasingly use more profitable data-enabled smartphones and as domestic voice service revenue declines. Vodacom, which is 65% owned by Vodafone Group, is planning to expand into three additional countries by the end of the 2014, chief executive Shameel Joosub said in an interview in May.
Telma competes with Bharti Airtel and Orange SA in Madagascar and has more than 1.8-million mobile subscribers, according to a 2011 corporate review on its website. That’s about 30% of the market, the phone operator said.
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