Investors knocking on Cell C’s door

Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said that many potential investors have approached the company and that there is a great interest to buy into Cell C.

However, the current shareholders – Oger Telecom, Lanun Securities SA and CellSAF – are happy with operations, and are therefore not keen to sell their shares.

Cell C is unlikely to publish its results for the 12 months to the end of December 2011, the group told BusinessTech on Tuesday (9 October). “Announcing high level annual results is usually at the discretion of the CEO,” a spokesperson said.

For the 12 month period to the end of December 2010, Cell C had R7.5 billion in long-term debt and an additional R500 million in current liabilities.

Revenue improved to R10.2 billion while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation stood at R1.4 billion.

Cell C has previously battled with managing its debt and ensuring that it had enough money to grow its network, but Knott-Craig said that they are doing well on both these fronts.

Knott-Craig said that Cell C has enough money to cover all its capex spend, but highlighted that capex is not the most expensive part of making Cell C sustainable.

According to Knott-Craig, the most challenging and costly part of their business is to getting people to join Cell C.

“Getting consumers to change their mobile provider, and hence their behavior, is very difficult,” said Knott-Craig. “People complain about their mobile providers, but despite these complaints they often stay where they are.”

The Cell C CEO said that he hopes that they will be successful in generating enough revenue to sustain their drive to sign up new customers and speed up the rate of change.

“It should be a self-funding process,” said Knott-Craig.

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Investors knocking on Cell C’s door