April 2, 2014 / 2:55 PM / in 4 years

S.Africa's Vodacom says talks for Tata's Neotel still on

JOHANNESBURG, April 2 (Reuters) - Vodacom said on Wednesday it was still in talks to acquire Neotel, a South African subsidiary of India’s Tata Communications, refuting local Indian press reports the negotiations could fall through.

India’s Economic Times had reported the deal worth a potential $590 million could disintegrate because the South African regulator was contemplating whether or not to allow the transfer of Neotel’s spectrum to Vodacom.

The South African unit of Britain’s Vodafone has been eyeing Neotel for its data capacity.

“We’re busy finalising the agreements and in the final stages of that part of negotiation,” Vodacom spokesman Richard Boorman said. “That article in the Indian Economic Times is just plain wrong.”

Neotel has access to more than 15,000 km (9,300 miles) of fibre-optic cable, with over half of that in major urban areas.

Vodacom shares were up 1.4 percent at 131.15 rand at 1430 GMT. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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