2degrees shareholders dip into their pockets again
By Paul McBeth
Nov. 10 (BusinessDesk) – Shareholders in Two Degrees Mobile have dipped into their pockets again, pumping a further US$11 million into the country’s newest mobile phone operator last month.
Trilogy International, Tesbrit and Hautaki Trust subscribed for 9.17 million shares at US$1.20 apiece on Oct. 21, according to documents lodged with the Companies Office, taking this year’s capital injection to US$62.5 million through eight separate issues.
The price in the latest sale is well above the 75 US cents price the shares were issued at last year when the three cornerstone investors pumped in US$44.5 million.
In September, 2degrees corporate affairs manager Mathew Bolland said the contributions were part of the company’s plan and that it’s on track to reaching profitability.
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 percent of the market with 580,000 customers.
Since then, customer number updates from the dominant players Telecom and Vodafone New Zealand show 2degrees has continued to eat into their market share as the larger rivals lose customers.
Hautaki kept its shareholding at 10.3 percent in the latest issues, while Trilogy holds just over 57.7 percent and Tesbrit’s stake was 28.3 percent. 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.