Majority shareholder Oger Telecom has made the biggest single investment by pumping a further ZAR3.5 billion (US$350 million) into Cell C.
A further ZAR2.2 billion (US$223 million) has come from Nedbank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in a long-term financial package arranged by the former.
The sudden injection of funds, Cell C said, is the direct result of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) beginning a fresh investigation into the cost of communications in the country, including another look into Call Termination Regulations.
Mohammed Hariri, chairman of Cell C and Oger Telecom, said: “Under the leadership of Alan Knott-Craig, Cell C has gone from strength to strength.
“The company has a solid business strategy and we are confident that the Regulator will make decisions that give smaller players a better chance of being sustainable competitors. It is on this basis that we as shareholders are fully committed to the company and the country.”
Cell C currently has more than 11.5 million subscribers in South Africa and Cell C chief executive officer (CEO) Alan Knott-Craig said the increased investment shows shareholders have confidence in the network and the future of the industry.
He added: “The equity injection also strengthens our balance sheet. But Cell C needs aggressive and proactive regulatory support to continue its drive to reduce the cost to communicate in South Africa and remain sustainable in the process.”
Oger Telecom made a similar investment in 2012 which amounted to US$200 million and a further “significant investment” is expected in 2014.
Knott-Craig said the money would be used to continue investing in network quality, customer base and product offerings.