UPDATE 1-South African mobile operator Cell C restructures debt

Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:57pm EDT

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JOHANNESBURG, July 24 (Reuters) - South African mobile operator Cell C said on Thursday it would look to restructure 77.4 million euros worth of senior debt, a move that could help improve its cash management.

Cell C, which is majority owned by Saudi construction and telecom group Saudi Oger Ltd, faces stiff competition from bigger rivals Vodacom Group and MTN Group.

The company said in a statement it would ask bondholders for permission to extend by three years the maturity of senior secured notes due July 2015.

The two tranches of euro-dominated notes have a coupon of 8.625 percent. Cell C also said it would buy back in cash any of the notes for their principal amount from bondholders who would rather sell than extend the debt.

A spokeswoman for Cell C declined to comment on why the company was restructuring its debt. (Reporting by David Dolan; editing Ed Stoddard and David Evans)

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