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2degrees shareholders still pumping in funds

Friday 9th September 2011

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Shareholders in mobile operator Two Degrees Mobile are still injecting new cash, with another three issues between June and August.

Trilogy International New Zealand LLC, Tesbrit B.V. and Hautaki Trust bought 20 million shares at US$1 apiece in three separate tranches, according to documents lodged with the Companies Office, keeping the company afloat as it continues to work towards profitability. That takes this year’s equity injection to US$44.3 million via six share issues, almost matching last year’s US$44.5 million, when the shares were issued at 75 U.S. cents each.

Corporate affairs manager Mathew Bolland told BusinessDesk the “contributions are to plan” and the phone operator is tracking its business case that will ultimately lead to profitability.

“What you’re seeing at the moment is the shareholders helping us basically fund the business,” he said. “It’s a market with over $2 billion in revenue.”

In June, 2degrees reported a loss of $76.8 million in the 12 months ended Dec. 31 as it continues to build its share in the market, posting gross profit of $38.2 million on sales of $107.6 million. In March, the mobile operator said it cornered about 11% of the market with 580,000 customers.

Hautaki kept its shareholding at 10.3% in the latest issues, while Trilogy holds just over 57% and Tesbrit’s stake was 28%. In July, the company’s board approved an employee share scheme.

2degrees grew out of a controversial government decision 10 years ago to give Maori the right to buy a third generation radio spectrum frequency at a discounted price. The remaining life of the spectrum management rights is about nine years.


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