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Net 1 acquires interest in South African mobile operator

Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc. acquired a 15% interest in South Africa-based mobile operator Cell C Ltd. and a 45% interest in DNI-4PL Contracts Ltd., which distributes Cell C subscriber packs and prepaid airtime.

Net 1 acquired interest in Cell C for 2 billion South African rand ($148.5 million). The deal was settled using 750 million South African rand ($55.7 million) in cash and 1.25 billion South African rand ($92.8 million) in debt.

The debt facility provided by RMB and Nedbank is a two-year straight-amortizing facility with quarterly repayments and an interest rate of Johannesburg Interbank Average Rate plus 2.75%.

As part of the deal, Net 1 has the right to nominate two directors to the Cell C board. Net 1's investment in Cell C will reduce its debt to less than 6 billion South African rand ($445.6 million) from 19.5 billion South African rand ($1.45 billion).

Net 1 acquired its stake in DNI for 945 million South African rand ($70.2 million). The deal was settled with cash reserves. Under the terms of the transaction, Net1 is obliged to pay DNI an additional amount not exceeding 360 million South African rand ($26.7 million) in cash, subject to DNI achieving certain performance targets. Net 1 has a two-year option to acquire a further 10% interest in DNI.