CellSAf claims Cell C’s recapitalisation ‘is not a done deal’

29 Aug 2017

Cell C’s shareholder, broad-based black empowerment (BBBE) grouping CellSAf, has revealed that the recapitalisation of Cell C ‘is not a done deal’ and will continue to pursue legal action in the high court to stop the deal from proceeding, TechCentral writes. The company described the process as a ‘blatant attempt at corporate capture that is likely to collapse under regulatory scrutiny’ in a strongly-worded statement, adding: ‘The deal was negotiated behind closed doors and appears motivated purely by the self-interest of the participants. The process illegally excluded CellSAf from decision making, involved multiple undeclared conflicts of interest and breaches of fiduciary obligations, and was approved by improperly constituted boards of directors, relying on irregular resolutions.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Cell C announced that it concluded its recapitalisation, under which the company reduced its net debt to ZAR6 billion (USD494 million) from ZAR23 billion – including USD184 million of bonds which are fully hedged into the South African Rand (ZAR). Following the closing of the transaction, Blue Label now holds 45% of Cell C, with 3C Telecommunications – itself owned by Oger Telecom 45.6%, the Employee Believe Trust 29.4%, and CellSAf 25% – in charge of 30%, Net1 (15%) and Cell C management and staff (10%). CellSAf filed a legal challenge against the deal in November 2016, claiming that it wasn’t afforded an option to comment on the restructuring.

South Africa, Cell C