Blue Label Telecoms, whose shares lost a fifth of their value in two days, says Cell C needs another R2.8bn in funding before it can stand on its own feet, and expects the mobile operator to reach profitability in late 2019. Shares in Blue Label, which paid R5.5bn for 45% of Cell C last year, fell 18.2% on Tuesday and Wednesday as the two companies posted results. The firm’s market capitalisation was R6.48bn at Wednesday’s close. Of concern to investors was that in the six months to June, Cell C’s net debt grew to R7.3bn, from about R6bn in August 2017, as the operator started building its network again. Blue Label joint CEO Brett Levy said Cell C was doing better than expected on all metrics, including debt. Its debt “is less than what we had budgeted”, Levy said. “The market is impatient or the market doesn’t understand it [Cell C].” Blue Label originally expected Cell C would need another R4bn until the end of 2019, Levy said, though “what only needs to be raised in Cell C until ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now