South African telco Telkom has rejected a potential takeover from a consortium led by former CEO Sipho Maseko.

In a stock exchange filing last week, Telkom SA said its board had considered the proposal from the Public Investment Corporation, a consortium comprised of Axian Telecom, Afrifund Investments Proprietary, and the Government Employees Pension Fund.

Telkom tower
– Getty Images

Following the decision, shares in the telco dropped by seven percent last week.

Telkom confirmed last month that it had received a bid from a consortium headed by Maseko, who was the company's CEO until the end of 2021 after eight years in charge.

Current CEO Serame Taukobong was far from impressed with the bid, stating at the time that the company did not need "a knight in shining armor."

Telkom has been struggling somewhat of late: its full-year earnings fell by 76.6 percent this year due to inflation and increased operational costs caused by crippling power cuts in South Africa.

The operator was subject to interest from MTN Group over a potential deal last year before MTN walk away after Telkom also entertained interest from Rain, another South African operator, but talks also fell through.

Telkom was founded in 1991 by the South African government out of the Department of Posts and Telecommunications and launched South Africa's first mobile services in partnership with Vodafone in 1994.

Telkom has more than 17 million mobile subscribers.