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Cell C sells to Blue Label

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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.

Fin24

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http://www.fin24.com/Tech/Companies/blue-label-to-acquire-35-of-cell-c-20151210

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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