(Bloomberg) -- Telkom SA SOC has kicked off the sale of a stake in its fiber business, as it seeks to unlock value for shareholders and boost profit.

The South African telecommunications group is working with Bank of America Corp. to gauge interest in the Openserve business from potential investors and strategic partners, a spokesperson said in an emailed response to Bloomberg queries. 

A representative for BofA declined to comment.

Openserve operates around 170,000 kilometers (106,000 miles) of fiber and legacy landline copper cables. Telkom said in February that it had received a number of expressions of interest in the business, and that a formal sales process would be started by the end of its 2023 fiscal year.

The Johannesburg-listed company is also in the process of selling its towers unit, which has attracted interest from independent tower operators including IHS Towers Ltd., Bloomberg News reported previously. 

Shares in Telkom shot up almost 10% on news of progress in the sale of a fiber business stake, trading 7.3% higher by 3:55 p.m. local time on Friday, valuing the company at about 18.4 billion rand ($1 billion). 

Telkom intends to update shareholders on its plans when it presents annual results in June, the spokesperson said. MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest telco operator, made an approach to buy Telkom in its entirety last year before talks about a deal stalled.

(Updates with share-price movement in sixth paragraph.)

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