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Cell C in trouble according to interim CEO

July 17, 2019 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Cell C in trouble according to interim CEO

Cell C in trouble according to interim CEO.

In March 2019, Cell C appointed Douglas Craigie Stevenson as interim CEO. He has since published an open letter where he details the plans to rescue the network provider from debt, poor business performance and liquidity problems.

“We don’t have another chance to do this again. We have to do this right,” interim CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson said in an interview with TechCentral.

According to My Broadband, Cell C is facing a number of challenges including:

  1. Debt — the company has amassed more debt than anticipated since it was recapitalised in 2017. 
  2. The cost of debt — the company is required to pay a substantial premium on the money that’s still owed. 
  3. Liquidity problems — the company ‘is battling with liquidity because of some of the events around the payment of large tranches on coupons’.
  4. Poor business performance — the company has been performing at a less than optimal rate.  

In the letter, Stevenson announced that he has appointed ‘Deloitte as independent financial restructuring advisors to assist in optimising business processes’, ‘Bowmans attorneys to investigate any parts of the business where we suspect that there may be irregular business practices’ as well as ‘PwC to do a full procurement audit and review of our processes’.

“As the new management, I want to ensure there is adequate clarity and transparency in the organisation. PwC will advise on Cell C’s procurement processes, while Bowmans will provide general legal advice and Deloitte will assist with the recapitalisation,” continued Stevenson.

“I’ve brought them in to make sure I can get comfort for everyone that things are done correctly. There has been a lot of mystery around this company and what’s going on — lots of rumours and speculation and things. There are no specific things (Bowmans has been asked to investigate). I am looking at all the areas in the business. It’s a view across the whole business to ensure I have the right people advising me.”

A spokesperson from Cell C says, “Cell C is actively pursuing liquidity, recapitalisation and operational initiatives to ensure that we remain competitive. We are using our best efforts to be a strong participant in the industry and firmly believe we are on the right track to achieve this.”

By Jenna Cook

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