JOHANNESBURG, March 1 Net1 UEPS Technologies
will pay 2 billion rand ($150 million) for a
15 percent stake in South Africa's Cell C, it said
The deal is part of Cell C's efforts to pay down debts which
have previously forced South Africa's third-largest mobile
network provider into a distressed restructuring with
bondholders involving maturity extensions.
Net1, a payment solutions company with extensive operations
in emerging markets, is part of a group of companies led by Blue
Label Telecoms working to slash Cell C's debt load to
at least 6 billion rand from around 20 billion rand.
Blue Label Telecoms, an airtime distributor, said last year
it would pay 5.5 billion rand for a 45 percent holding in Cell
C, a company founded in 2001 by Saudi Arabia's Oger Telecom and
former director Zwelakhe Mankazana.
Cell C will also sell shares to staff, senior management and
existing shareholders: Oger Telecom and CellSaf as part the cash
Net1 also said it would buy a 49.6 percent stake in DNI-4PL
Contracts, a distributer of Cell C's mobile user starter packs
and prepaid airtime. It has an option to buy a controlling stake
in the company.
($1 = 13.0700 rand)
(Reporting by TJ Strydom and Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by