Cell C plans to raise R6 billion as it seeks to pay off debt amid a takeover

Cell C plans to raise as much as $464 million from the sale of two bonds as part of the South African mobile-phone company’s recapitalisation that will enable Blue Label Telecoms to buy a stake, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The country’s third-largest wireless carrier will sell $184 million of three-year senior secured bonds and $280 million of five-year securities, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the plans aren’t public. Both notes will pay a coupon of 8.625%, according to the people.

Cell C spokespeople didn’t immediately respond to emails requesting comment.

The bonds will be used to repay Cell C’s existing 400 million-euro ($465 million) of debt due to mature in July 2018, the people said. That will enable Dubai-based parent company Oger Telecom, which is owed most of the outstanding debt though affiliates, to exit the company and ease the completion of the reorganization that will see Johannesburg-based Blue Label take a stake, according to the people.

The planned bond issues are expected to help the wireless carrier complete the transaction with Blue Label almost two years after talks began. The agreement to sell a 45% stake for R5.5 billion ($421 million) will initially reduce Cell C’s debt by 73% without having to re-apply for an operating license, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Blue Label’s shares rose as much as 1.3 percent before paring gains to trade 0.8% up at R16.64 as of 3:57 p.m. in Johannesburg. The stock has dropped 8.6% this year, giving the company a market value of R11.2 billion.

Read: Cell C appoints former Liberty Group executive to drive digital strategy

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Cell C plans to raise R6 billion as it seeks to pay off debt amid a takeover