INTERNATIONAL: Smithfield wins Telkom SA privatisation job

JOHANNESBURG: The South African government has handed Smithfield

Financial an IR and financial brief surrounding the IPO of telecoms

giant Telkom SA - the country's first major privatisation.

Smithfield won the account after a four-way pitch - staged on behalf of

the Government by IPO co-ordinators JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank -

believed to be against Financial Dynamics, Citigate Dewe Rogerson and


The agency will work alongside South African PR agency Meropa

Communications, which is part owned by Chime Communications, and

co-ordinate with Telkom's retained financial PR advisers College


Smithfield international MD Andrew Hey leads the brief, reporting to

Fani Zulu, South African Ministry of Public Enterprises director of


The Smithfield Meropa team will advise the Government on the development

of a communications strategy designed to help achieve a successful IPO

with wide public participation.

'This is the first time there's been a mass market share offer in South

Africa and the Government is very keen to make the shares accessible to

a wide range of people, particularly the previously disadvantaged

individuals,' said Smithfield chairman John Antcliffe.

'It's going to be a huge information exercise involving nine or ten

languages with road-shows and street theatre. We'll be using a lot of PR

tools not normally used in the UK.'

He added: 'This IPO will set the stage for the other share offers in

South Africa over the next 15 years.'

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