Cell C’s largest shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, disclosed on Thursday that a term sheet to recapitalise the mobile operator has finally been signed after protracted negotiations.
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Cell C on Tuesday reported a full-year loss to 31 December 2020 of R5.5-billion. Dire as that sounds, it marks an improvement on the first half of the year, when it turned in a R7.6-billion loss.
Cell C has reported an interim net loss after tax for the six months to June 2020 of R7.5-billion, but said this was mainly the result of once-off costs and adjustments and that normalised earnings actually grew by 64%.
Cell C’s largest shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, is confident a recapitalisation of the mobile operator will be completed in the coming months and that this will put it on a new growth trajectory.
Financially distressed mobile operator Cell C said the second half of its 2019 financial year showed a solid turnaround in its fortunes, with a R1-billion improvement in Ebitda.
Shares in Telkom soared shortly after markets opened in Johannesburg on Friday as investors took cheer from the fact that the it won’t be burdened with rival Cell C’s debt problems.
Cell C’s expanded roaming agreement with MTN South Africa, which was signed at the weekend, “adheres to all applicable legal and regulatory requirements”, the companies said.
A report on Tuesday suggested China Mobile may be about to swoop to the rescue of embattled mobile operator Cell C. Telkom is also rumoured to be circling.
A group of local banks have committed to provide temporary liquidity and extended the maturity of R1.2-billion of debt that was due to be repaid last month, Cell C said.
TechCentral sat down with Cell C’s CEO and chief financial officer to discuss the operator’s plan not only to pull itself back from the brink but to put itself on a sustainable financial footing.