Blue Label Telecoms, a 49.5% shareholder in South African operator Cell C is, through its subsidiary The Prepaid Company (TPC), moving to acquire control of Cell C.
Blue Label Telecoms describes itself as a company that sells innovative technology for mobile commerce to emerging markets in South Africa and abroad.
As part of the acquisition process TPC has filed an application with communications regulator ICASA for approval to transfer Cell C’s spectrum licences to TPC. It has also filed an application with the country’s Competition Commission.
Blue Label is now moving, through TPC, to obtain a further 4.04% stake in the business, which would take it well over the 50% ownership threshold.
Local news resource TechCentral reported in late August that Blue Label had agreed to acquire control of Cell C. There may also be a new strategic investor brought in by Blue Label, though who and when is not clear.
Cell C says it will still retain full control of its spectrum in this operating model and will continue to operate as a licensee providing mobile services to its customer base as a mobile network operator.
Cell C’s audited financial results for the 2021 and 2022 financial years and the first three quarters of 2023 were recently published and do not, apparently, make for reassuring reading. However, reports suggest the management team believes it can turn the company around.
This, however, will be part of a long-running process. We reported in September last year that the recapitalisation of Cell C had finally been completed after years of negotiation.