Blue Label’s Cell C takeover gets CompCom go-ahead

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 02 Apr 2024
Blue Label Telecoms wants to gain a controlling stake in Cell C.
Blue Label Telecoms wants to gain a controlling stake in Cell C.

The Competition Commission (CompCom) has given Blue Label Telecoms the go-ahead to take over mobile operator Cell C.

In a statement, the CompCom says it has recommended the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby The Prepaid Company (TPC) intends to acquire Cell C, with conditions.

TPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Label Telecoms, Blue Label and all firms they directly and indirectly control shall collectively be referred to as the acquiring group, it says.

“The commission has recommended that the tribunal approves the merger subject to conditions to mitigate information exchange concerns, and conditions ensuring the continued use of certain prepaid airtime distribution channels for a period, post-merger.

“The proposed transaction does not raise public interest concerns.”

In February, Blue Label co-CEO Brett Levy revealed Blue Label is looking to get a controlling stake in Cell C in the next six months.

At the time, Levy said the company is looking for a favourable decision from regulators − the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the CompCom − for the deal to go through.

“We have told the market that we applied for control [of Cell C]. It’s going through the motions. Everyone has had an opportunity to contest it…so we are hoping the CompCom and ICASA are going to run pretty much at the same time,” said Levy.

The deal is not a transfer of the licence, but a change of ownership from majority to control, as explained by Cell C CEO Jorge Mendes.