File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms has once again buckled under the weight of its investment in Cell C, with its shares shedding more than 13percent, after the mobile operator defaulted on the payment of interest on a $184 million (R2.67billion) loan.

The share price slipped to R2.75 at 12.26pm, closing at the same price.

Blue Label yesterday flagged that Cell C was also facing a possibility of defaulting on interests and capital payments related to bilateral loan facilities with Nedbank, China Development Bank Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, due by the end of this month.

Blue Label Telecoms, which bought the 45percent stake in Cell C for R5.5bn in 2017, has been heavily exposed to losses in Cell C, prompting it to write down the value of its investment in Cell C to zero.

The default on the payment, which was due in December last year, is the latest blow to Cell C, South Africa’s third-biggest mobile operator, which has been grappling with a liquidity crunch.