Cell C looking for Big Daddy: report

Business Times reported that Cell C’s future will depend on partnering with a large local telecoms player, like Telkom, or by finding a foreign partner with ‘deep pockets’.

According to the report Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said that Cell C would need to be swallowed up by a “larger group to compete with the likes of Vodacom and MTN”.

Telkom was mentioned as the obvious candidate, but Knott-Craig also said that a smaller group can partner with them to form a larger player.

According to the report Cell C is doing well. “We are averaging between 800 000 and one million gross connections in a month,” Knott-Craig told Business Times.

The newspaper further said that “Cell C’s subscribers have grown sharply from nine million to 11 million since Knott-Craig took charge”.

This is not the first time Knott-Craig has hinted of a possible partnership to improve Cell C’s fortunes.

In October 2012 Knott-Craig told BusinessTech that market consolidation is inevitable. “Margins are thinning and smaller operators’ ability to compete is being hampered by lack of scale,” he said.

“In my view, there will be some form of consolidation or partnership in the industry in the near future. However, any decisions on consolidation or future partnerships involving Cell C would be for our shareholders to decide upon,” Knott-Craig said.

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Cell C looking for Big Daddy: report