Vodafone has offered to buy a further 12.5% stake in mobile operator Vodacom for â‚¬1.5 billion (US$2.4 billion) from South Africa's Telkom , while Mvelaphanda Group may lead a bid for Telkom minus the Vodacom stake, a Reuters report said.
Shares in Telkom jumped over 15% due to the development, the report added.
The transactions around Telkom signals further consolidation in the South African telecoms sector after sub-Saharan Africa's biggest mobile phone operator MTN said last week it was in talks with India's Reliance Communications over a transaction that could create a â‚¬42.4 billion (US$66 billion) emerging markets telecoms group.
South African newspaper reports said the bid by a consortium led by Mvelaphanda Group, headed by prominent black businessman Tokyo Sexwale who is one of South Africa's richest men, may be worth up to â‚¬7.5 billion (US$11.6 billion).
Vodafone said its bid was conditional on Telkom unbundling or spinning off its remaining 37.5% stake in Vodacom to its existing shareholders, the Reuters report added.
Vodacom is jointly owned by Vodafone and Telkom, Africa's biggest fixed-line telephone company.
The South African government owns 38% of Telkom, state pension administrator Public Investment Corporation 15% and black investment group, the Elephant Consortium another 6%.
A Vodacom source said Vodafone wanted to obtain a controlling stake in Vodacom without having to dilute its equity stake by selling off a part of the South African mobile phone group to black investors under the country's black economic empowerment program.