Cellcom Israel sets out to liquidate Golan Telecom
Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile-network operator, is aiming to liquidate Golan Telecom, claiming that the rival company owes it $156 million for using its network..
According to Reuters, Cellcom submitted a request for an interim liquidator to be appointed to Golan Telecom, to a Tel Aviv court on Tuesday.
Golan was launched in 2012 after the government decided to issue additional licenses to encourage competition in a three-horse market.
Golan is owned by French businessmen Michael Golan and Xavier Niel, the majority owner of French telecoms group Iliad.
Golan managed to carve out a 10 % niche for itself in the Israeli mobile market by undercutting its big three rival’s prices.
Cellcom tried to buy Golan for $300 million last year. However, Israel’s regulators opposed the purchase, arguing that the deal directly contradicted their attempts to introduce competition into the market.
Attempts to find another buyer have been unsuccessful. Speculation recently centered on Elco Holdings, together with former Pelephone Communications CEO Gil Sharon, but sources say that no purchase was in the offing at this time.
Cellcom said it could not predict what the court would decide on its liquidation request, or how it would affect its efforts to collect the money it says Golan owes it.
Golan has rejected the Company's demand it pays the NIS 600 million on December 3, 2016, according to the SPA. In case such failures are not resolved shortly to Cellcom Israel’s satisfaction, it will continue the legal proceedings already commenced against Golan and may take additional measures, including filing a liquidation request against Golan.