Cell C’s parent company Oger Telecom has received offers to buy its controlling 75% stake in the South African cellco, with Business Day citing Oger Telecom’s deputy CEO Mazen Abou Chakra as saying that ‘six groups approached us with an interest in acquiring our stake’. However, Chakra told the newspaper that Oger has made no decision about whether to sell its interest in the debt-laden operator. Further, the executive noted that his company was happy with Cell C’s performance over the past 18 months and remained ‘fully committed’ to the business.
Cell C is wholly owned by holding company 3C Telecommunications, which is itself owned by Oger Telecom South Africa (60%), Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) entity CellSAf consortium (25%), and Lanun Securities (15%). Saudi Arabian group Oger Telecom is the sole shareholder in Oger Telecom South Africa and Lanun Securities, giving it an overall 75% indirect stake in Cell C. Oger Telecom is 35%-owned by Saudi Telecom Company (STC).
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February 2015 it emerged that Oger was planning to divest its stake in Cell C, though the valuation of the cellco and its current debt were cited as the main issues blocking Oger’s exit from the company. TeleGeography notes that in January 2015 Oger’s parent STC wrote down a ZAR1.2 billion (USD102 million) investment in Oger Telecom, attributing the impairment to its investment in Cell C.