As speculation swirls that Telkom has a made a third approach to Cell C about a potential acquisition, the financially distressed mobile operator on Tuesday said it is making progress on a planned recapitalisation.

Telkom said earlier on Tuesday that it is in talks about an acquisition, without naming the target.

In a statement that made no explicit reference to Telkom, Cell C said that it “remains focused on ensuring operational efficiencies, restructuring its balance sheet, implementing a revised network strategy and improving overall liquidity”.

“It confirms previous market communication that negotiations with MTN are at an advanced stage,” it added. Cell C and MTN are negotiating an expanded roaming agreement that could see the latter taking over some aspects of the management of the former’s network.

Cell C said in its statement that Moelis & Company, Linklaters and DLA Piper have been appointed as independent financial and legal advisers to its lenders representing a significant proportion of the company’s debt.


“Constructive discussions on the recapitalisation are under way with them and other stakeholders in respect of various proposals,” the company said, without elaborating.

Key to the recapitalisation is the conclusion of the new agreement with MTN. Cell C has previously said the planned recap is being led by the Buffet Consortium, one of whose backers is the reclusive billionaire businessman Jonathan Beare. It has said it wants to conclude the recap by the end of 2019.  — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media