Israel’s Cellcom to acquire Golan Telecom

Israel’s Cellcom to acquire Golan Telecom

Israel’s largest mobile player Cellcom has agreed to buy rival Golan Telecom for 1.17 billion shekels ($300.9 million).

Golan Telecom is one of four other mobile operators in Israel, having launched operations in 2012, and is owned by French businessmen Michael Golan and Xavier Niel.

“The acquisition of Golan Telecom will allow us to add a low-cost brand to our portfolio,” said Ami Erel, Cellcom chairman.

The Israeli telecoms market has long been expected to consolidate following concerns that high competition is preventing investment in infrastructure. The country’s government now appears to be considering such consolidation.

However, in a statement today, Cellcom said: “There is no assurance that the agreement shall be approved by the Israeli regulators, which the company estimates to be challenging.”

Cellcom was thought to be mulling the acquisition of Golan Telecom in August this year.

“The acquisition of Golan Telecom is another important step in making Cellcom Israel a leading telecoms group that brings high value at attractive prices to Israeli consumers,” said Cellcom CEO Nir Sztern.

“In the last year, we revolutionised the fixed-line market by introducing a new TV service alongside highly attractive prices in triple play/packages and fixed line wholesale services. We intend to maintain Golan Telecom as an independent company and can assure all Golan Telecom's customers that we will honour all of their present agreements.”