South Africa: Cell C to sell Virgin Mobile stake

Mobile operator Cell C is to sell its 50% shareholding in virtual network operator Virgin Mobile South Africa but will continue as its network partner, Virgin said on Wednesday.

Virgin Mobile South Africa’s “board has agreed to a shareholders’ restructuring whereby Cell C will sell its 50 percent stake in Virgin Mobile”, the company said in a statement.

Virgin Group of the UK will increase its stake from 50 to 55 percent.

Calico Investments of the Bahamas will acquire the remaining 45 percent stake. Calico, an investment company focused on opportunities in emerging markets and in Africa, will invest more growth capital into Virgin Mobile.

The transaction is still subject to certain conditions, including approvals from the Competition Commission and Exchange Control.

It was expected to be finalised by April 2011.

Cell C will continue as Virgin Mobile’s network partner under an updated network services agreement.

Virgin Mobile was launched in 2006.

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