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ICASA weighs in on Cell C acquisition speculation

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Telecommunications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA), is of the view that if troubled mobile operator Cell C goes bust, this will adversely impact the country’s ICT sector.

ICASA issued a statement after speculation that the debt-ridden Cell C is a potential acquisition target of Telkom.

The speculation emerged after Telkom issued a cautionary statement to its shareholders saying it is in discussions over a potential acquisition.

This led to speculation that Cell C, which is in financial distress, is the potential target.

In a statement, ICASA says it has noted various media reports about Cell C’s current financial difficulties.

“The authority has also noted reports of the purported acquisition of Cell C as well as roaming arrangements and facilities sharing pertaining to Cell C.

“ICASA appreciates and welcomes the efforts and measures being taken to ensure the continued existence of Cell C. This is primarily because ICASA believes the failure of Cell C would have adverse effects on the stability of South Africa’s ICT sector, and undermine the public policy objectives of ensuring the South African public has access to a wide range of communications services at affordable prices.

“Notwithstanding the various media reports, ICASA is yet to be notified of any transactions by any of the licensees.

“In this regard, ICASA would like to caution all parties to ensure the necessary regulatory compliance requirements pertaining to purported transactions are adequately fulfilled.”

Yesterday, Cell C issued a statement saying it is in advanced negotiations with MTN, with which it has a roaming agreement.

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