(Corrects headline and paragraph 1 to make clear Craigie Stevenson appointed by Cell C, not Blue Label)
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 7 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Blue Label Telecoms said on Wednesday Douglas Craigie Stevenson had been appointed permanent CEO of mobile carrier Cell C, citing its improved finances since he took the position on an interim basis.
Blue Label, which has been trying to dig the business out of debt since buying a majority stake in the country’s third-largest mobile carrier in October 2016, also announced a national roaming deal between Cell C and MTN that it says will bring substantial cost savings.
Cell C Chairman Kuben Pillay said Craigie Stevenson has made a big impact since taking charge after Jose Dos Santos stepped down in February to pursue another opportunity.
“In the past five months, Douglas and his team have led the company to improved financial stability, sound business ethics and good governance, better operational performance and on a path to sustainability,” Pillay said in a statement.
The deal with MTN would reduce Cell C’s capital expenditure and spending on its network, Blue Label said. The statement did not give any further details but added that a long-form agreement was now being negotiated.
Negotiations with The Buffet Consortium, which it announced would take a minority stake in Cell C in February, are progressing well, it added.
Blue Label has declined to name the members of The Buffet Consortium. (Reporting by Emma Rumney Editing by David Goodman)