Cash-strapped Cell C to renew deal with Sharks

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:06 pm

Cell C, which has defaulted on almost R3bn of debt, said on Wednesday it had renewed its sponsorship agreement with Sharks Rugby.
“Our sponsorship over the last six years has proven exceptionally valuable as a brand engagement platform for our customers as we endeavour to connect with them through their passion whilst driving key brand and business objectives,” said Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson in a statement.
“Sponsorships help us to drive brand awareness, sales, engage customers and to drive brand love. The partnership has been rewarding, not to mention the amazing strides the Cell C Sharks have made to truly embrace the country’s diversity and what that brings to the game of rugby.”
The announcement comes as news broke this week that SA’s third biggest mobile operator failed to pay interest on its $184m (R2.7bn) bond, as well as loans and interest to lenders, including Nedbank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Cell C, which is labouring under an R8.9bn debt pile, is in the middle of a turnaround strategy that includes bringing a group of investors led by property magnate Jonathan Beare to inject cash into the business in exchange for shares and scaling back on capital expenditure and cutting costs after clinching a roaming deal with larger rival MTN in November 2019.
The sponsorship agreement with the KwaZulu-Natal-based club will cover the next three years.