The recapitalisation of South African mobile operator Cell C has finally been completed after years of negotiation. That’s the news from Blue Label Telecoms, the largest shareholder in Cell C, which sells innovative technology for mobile commerce to emerging markets in South Africa and abroad.
Binding long-form agreements with Cell C and various Cell C financial stakeholders, including certain shareholders and creditors of Cell C, are now in place, although, as we reported in July, this did involve debt holders agreeing to secure only 20 cents in the rand of the money they provided – an 80% loss on their debt.
In addition Cell C is operating without its own radio access networks; it relies instead on the infrastructure of partners MTN and Vodacom.
According to the TechCentral website, Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson has said that the short and medium-term operational focus for Cell C will be to finish the implementation of the network migration by end-2023 to get to 14,000 outsourced high sites.
New loan, shareholding and repayment arrangements are now in place but the upshot is, Stevenson says: “Day one post recap, Cell C will have achieved a significant reduction in the debt of the business to enable us to move forward and make the business more streamlined."