We are profitable: Cell C CEO

 ·23 Sep 2015

Cell C CEO, Jose Dos Santos says that the company is making a month-on-month profit, and has been for several quarters already.

Speaking at the company’s headquarters in Midrand on Wednesday (23 September), Dos Santos said: “Our competitors want to buy us…because we are a damn good asset. Telkom if you want to buy us, write out the cheque.”

When asked how profitable, Dos Santos said ‘very profitable’ not elaborating.The company is a private entity and is therefore not obliged to reveal its financial details.

Last month Business Day reported that six groups have displayed interest in acquiring South Africa’s third largest mobile operator.

The business publication cited a direct quote from Cell C parent company, Oger Telecom’s chief legal officer and deputy CEO, Mazen Abou Chakra.

“Six groups approached us with interest in acquiring our stake in Cell C,” Chakra said, adding that no decision has been taken on the matter.

Oger Telecom noted in March 2015 that is looking to sell its 75% stake in the local operator, following revised termination rates implemented by Icasa.

Though the Oger executive did not mention any names or details about the six groups vying for the share, Telkom has been open about having its eye on Cell C.

Earlier in August, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko expressed some interest in buying Cell C, calling it an “interesting proposition”.

“At the right price, I’m a buyer,” Maseko said.

Dos Santos said that with hard work, the company has delivered real value. He suggested that it’s profitability has come before the past two quarters.

He said that Cell C has engaged with its competitors over a potential acquisition. Nothing material has come of the discussions, however, Dos Santos said. “People talk all the time,” he said.

He added that the discussions have not only been with local players, but international players too.

“We are a very healthy organisation,” Dos Santos said, re-iterating that the company has given MTN a good smack, warning Vodacom, “we are coming”.

Dos Santos said that the company now has just shy of 22 million customers. This is compared to MTN SA, which has a subscriber base of 28.5 million, and Vodacom, with 31.4 million.

More on Cell C

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Cell C eyes early LTE rollout

6 groups interested in acquiring Cell C: report

Cell C breakeven in 2017?

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