Blue Label Telecoms plans to acquire 35% of Cell C as part of the recapitalisation of South Africa’s third largest mobile network, writes GARETH VAN ZYL.
The move is expected to result in the current major stakeholder in Cell C, Dubai-based Oger Telecom, diluting its stake from 75% to approximately 27%, according to a report from technology news website TechCentral.
Johannesburg listed Blue Label distributes prepaid airtime, starter packs, data and electricity tokens. It also specialises in transactional offerings such as ticketing and financial services.
And Blue Label said in a market update on Thursday that it plans to “contribute R4bn to Cell C by way of a subscription for approximately 35% of Cell C’s total issued share capital following the conclusion of Cell C’s recapitalisation programme”.
The deal is expected to be effective on June 1 2016 and will reduce Cell C’s net borrowings to a maximum of R8bn, said the two companies in separate statements.
Meanwhile, Cell C further said that its management – on behalf of the company’s employees – has also submitted a binding offer to co-invest.
This means that if the restructuring deal is successful, then Cell C’s current shareholder and holding company 3C Telecommunications will hold 35% of the mobile network, management and staff 30% and Blue Label 35% of the ordinary shares in Cell C.
“Should this transaction be approved it will become one of the largest employee ownership deals in the country,” said Cell C’s chief executive officer Jose Dos Santos in a statement.
“Through this transaction, we will see more employees of our company share in the success as they continue to deliver,” said Dos Santos.
Blue Label said the transaction is still subject to agreements, the securing of funding by all parties, Cell C’s aggregate net borrowings being reduced to R8bn after the deal, and obtaining regulatory approvals.
Reasons for Blue Label investing in Cell C include the mobile network having increased its subscriber base from 9 million in 2012 to 22 million to date and Cell C’s investments in network infrastructure.
Blue Label said it has also been one of the primary distributors for Cell C’s products over the years.
“The proposed transaction provides a compelling value proposition to Blue Label, as well as to Cell C and its customers, through vertical integration affording both companies the opportunity to realise synergies in product distribution, and positioning Blue Label to benefit from the improved operational and financial performance that the combined platform would create,” said Blue Label in a statement.
The move by Blue Label also comes after Telkom last month announced that it had abandoned talks to buy Oger Telecom’s stake in Cell C.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.