Bondholders of S.Africa's Cell C agree to 160 mln euro debt restructuring

JOHANNESBURG Sat Aug 9, 2014 8:57am EDT

JOHANNESBURG Aug 9 (Reuters) - Bondholders of South African mobile operator Cell C have unanimously agreed to a 160 million euro ($214 million) debt restructuring, the company said, allowing it to free up cash for network expansion.

Cell C, South Africa's third-largest mobile carrier, is fighting to take market share from giants Vodacom Group and MTN Group and has embarked on an aggressive pricing strategy to win new customers.

The company last month asked bondholders for permission to delay repayment of 77.4 million euros of senior notes due in July 2015 for three years, after earlier reaching a similar agreement with top shareholder Saudi Oger Ltd over 82.7 million euros worth of debt.

Cell C said in a statement late on Friday that all of the bondholders have agreed to allow it to push back the maturity on the debt until 2018.

Cell C's chief financial officer told Reuters last month the company is looking to spend 2.3 billion rand ($216 million) on its network this year and a similar amount next year. (1 US dollar = 0.7458 euro) (1 US dollar = 10.6540 South African rand) (Reporting by David Dolan, editing by William Hardy)