Shares in 2de­grees’ owner plunge

The Southland Times - - Business - Tom Pullar-Strecker

Shares in the ma­jor­ity owner of 2de­grees plunged 22 per cent overnight af­ter the com­pany re­ported a tough out­look for its other, smaller in­vest­ment in a Bo­li­vian mo­bile com­pany.

Tril­ogy In­ter­na­tional Part­ners, which owns 73 per cent of 2de­grees and is listed on the Toronto Stock Ex­change, saw its share price drop C66 cents to C$2.33 (NZ$2.62).

The com­pany, whose main as­set is its stake in 2de­grees, is now worth less than a quar­ter of its value two years ago.

That share price fall comes ahead of a pe­riod of pos­si­ble in­creased in­vest­ment re­quire­ments for Kiwi mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies, as the next it­er­a­tion of mo­bile tech­nol­ogy, 5G, ar­rives.

2de­grees re­fi­nanced and grew its bank­ing fa­cil­ity in July, se­cur­ing a NZ$250 mil­lion fa­cil­ity to re­place its pre­vi­ous $200m line of credit.

2de­grees chief ex­ec­u­tive Stew­art Sher­riff said at the time that would pro­vide the ‘‘bor­row­ing ca­pac­ity for fur­ther in­vest­ments’’ in the busi­ness.

Tril­ogy’s re­sult for the three months to the end of Septem­ber in­di­cated that 2de­grees’ rev­enues were up 3 per cent and its op­er­at­ing profit up 14 per cent on the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod a year ago.

But rev­enues and op­er­at­ing profit from its stake in Bo­li­vian telco Viva fell by 8 per cent and 10 per cent, re­spec­tively.

Over­all, Tril­ogy’s quar­terly net loss more than dou­bled to C$14m.

Tril­ogy chief ex­ec­u­tive Brad Hor­witz said he was pleased with the per­for­mance of 2de­grees, not­ing it ac­counted for the bulk of the value of the com­pany.

But he said the growth it had shown in post-paid mo­bile and broad­band had been ‘‘tem­pered some­what’’ by in­tense com­pe­ti­tion in Bo­livia ahead of the in­tro­duc­tion of mo­bile num­ber porta­bil­ity there.

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