Vodacom in talks to buy Tata's Neotel for over $500 mln - Bloomberg

Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Vodacom Group (JNB:VOD.L - News) is in talks to buy Tata Communications' (NSI:TATACOMM.NS - News) stake in South African telecoms operator Neotel for more than 5 billion rand, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Vodacom is the South African unit of Vodafone Group Plc (LSE:VOD.L - News). Tata owns more than 60 percent of Neotel, a provider of fixed-line service and data.

The talks are set to become exclusive, Bloomberg said.

Neotel was not immediately available for comment and Vodacom declined to comment.

"It is not our policy to comment on market speculation," a Tata Communications spokeswoman in Mumbai said.

Reports of discussions to sell the firm have been swirling for most of this year and Vodacom's bigger rival, MTN (MTNJ.J), confirmed in August that it was no longer in talks for a stake in Neotel.

(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura in JOHANNESBURG and Devidutta Tripathy in MUMBAI; editing by David Dolan)

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