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Saudi Oger may sell Cell C – Reuters

By Staff writer

Saudi Oger Telecom may sell its strategic stake in South Africa’s third-biggest cellular opertaor, Cell C, the chairman of the Middle Eastern firm told Reuters on Thursday in an interview in Dubai.

“All options are open. If we get a good price, we will sell,” Hariri said, adding it had been approached by several interested parties but no firm decisions had been made. He declined to name the parties. For us, if we get a proper value, we’d rather not continue. If the termination rates were honoured as original, we would have stayed easily,” Mohammed Hariri, Chairman of Oger Telecom told Reuters in an interview in Dubai.

Last month, Cell C disclosed that in December it had lodged papers requesting the Gauteng High Court to review call termination regulations. Cell C was also quoted by Business Day as saying that it would “vigorously challenge” Vodacom’s planned R7bn acquisition of Neotel, and would pursue every legal avenue to stop the deal.

Furthermore, last month City Press published a report which places the spotlight firmly on Cell C’s financial health.

Saudi Telecom Company, which indirectly owns a significant stake in Cell C, has reportedly reduced its investment in the mobile operator by a whopping R1.2bn.

The newspaper also added that Reuters reported that Abdulaziz al-Sugair, Saudi Telecom Company’s chairperson, said the firm was “evaluating options” over its international portfolio.

But Cell C’s boss, Jose Dos Santos, insisted that his company is not about to go under. He told the newspaper that he was neither concerned about the Saudi Telecom chairperson’s remarks, nor about the impairment.

For more context on Cell C, please read:

Cell C in a fix over its sustainability

Hariri told Reuters that Goldman Sachs has been appointed by Oger Telecom to help with the process to sell the business.

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