South Africa's Telkom sells Mauritius IT business

JOHANNESBURG Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:58am EST

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African fixed-line telecoms operator Telkom (TKGJ.J) has sold its loss-making Mauritius internet business, it said on Sunday, part of a turnaround plan that includes talks about the future of the group's mobile unit.

The financial details were not disclosed.

Telkom said the Mauritius unit, iWayAfrica, was not a core business. "This transaction is one of many initiatives that will contribute to our own turnaround, allowing us to focus on our core South African fixed-line and mobile operations," chief executive Sipho Maseko said.

Telkom, in which the government and the state pension fund hold a combined stake of just over 51 percent, has been facing stiff competition from mobile operators.

Maseko, the sixth CEO since 2005, has been pushing for cost reductions, which include cutting jobs.

Telkom is in talks with some parties over the future of its mobile business in South Africa, which lags rivals MTN Group (MTNJ.J) and Vodacom (VODJ.J).

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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