Telkom historically evolved as part of the then Department of Posts and Telecommunications that existed prior to the demise of Apartheid.
- Telkom was separated from the SAPO Post Office in 1991 during the process of commercialisation of both.
- The first democratic government that was inaugurated in 1994 determined a need to create a modern telecommunications company to serve the new democratic state and its people
- In order to do this, it was determined that a Strategic Equity Partners was required which would inject skills, capabilities, new technologies and funding to modernize Telkom.
- In 1997, a Strategic Equity Partner in the form of Thintana Communications LLC (Thintana), a company registered in the US and a joint venture made up of Telkom Malaysia and SBC Communications was acquired. The Strategic Equity partner acquired 30% of Telkom form the Government of Republic of South Africa.
- The proceeds from sale of equity to Thintana was reinvested into Telkom in order to modernise the company.
- A shareholders agreement to govern Telkom and allocated powers to control Telkom was entered into and codified in the Articles of Association essentially providing for reservation of powers/rights between the parties.
- In 2003, an Initial Public Offer (IPO) was made a Telkom was listed both in the New York Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Securities Exchange with the primary listing being at the JSE. At the point of the IPO the shares of Telkom were sold at an initial share price of R27.
- In terms of the revised Shareholder’s agreement which was later codified in the Articles of Association the two major shareholder being Government of the Republic of South Africa were deemed significant shareholders and granted a golden share (class shareholding) which entitled them to a reservation of certain rights in the control of Telkom. The golden share among other things entitled each Class Shareholders to appoint specific number of directors and an entitlement to veto certain decisions.
- The rights and powers granted by the golden share were to expire on losing the status of being a significant shareholder or upon reaching the eight anniversary of the IPO (March 2011).
- Upon completion of the IPO, Government was left with 38.4% shareholding in Telkom, Thintana with 30% and the rest being in the public hands.
- In 2004 Thintana reduced its shareholding by selling through a book building exercise to 15.1%.
- In 2005, Thintana sold its remaining 15.1% shareholding.
As at 31 March 2011, the shareholding in Telkom was:
- Government 39.8%
- Public Investment Corporation 10.9%
- Telkom Treasury 2.0%; and
- Free Float 47.3%