The Buffet Consortium to take minority stake in South Africa’s Cell C

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Blue Label Telecoms said an investor called the Buffet Consortium has agreed to take a minority stake in South Africa’s third largest mobile carrier Cell C.

Blue Label, which owns 45 percent of Cell C, has been trying to dig the mobile carrier out of debt since it purchased its stake in the carrier for 5.5 billion rand ($392.28 million) in October 2016. The company said the development would help the struggling mobile carrier.

Reuters reports that the name of the investor was revealed as the Buffet Consortium, but Blue Label did not say who that included. The company also failed to disclose the size of the stake or how much it would raise.

A statement released by Blue Label Telecoms said “with Buffet support the Cell C balance sheet will be bolstered”. The company also said a further detailed announcement would be made at a later stage, adding that the transaction remained subject to certain conditions.

Blue Label said last August that Cell C, which has struggled to compete with bigger rivals MTN and Vodacom needed another 2.8 billion rand in funding.

It has had to defend its investment to shareholders concerned about the cost of keeping the carrier going, prompting an almost 65 percent fall in Blue Label’s share price since the start of last year.


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