Bidders line up for Golan Telecom purchase
Cellcom Israel Ltd and Bezeq Israel Telecom both announced multi-million-dollar bids to buy rival operator Golan Telecom
Cellcom Israel Ltd and Bezeq Israel Telecom have both announced multi-million-dollar bids to buy rival operator Golan Telecom.
Cellcom Israel, which announced the move on 18th February, said it had “entered discussions” with Golan Telecom shareholders, with a view to purchasing their holdings in response to the “intense competition” it has witnessed in the marketplace.
Established in 1994, Cellcom Israel counts more than 2.7 million cellular subscribers and offers operates an LTE 4 generation network and an HSPA 3.5 Generation network. As such it is widely regarded in the largest Israeli cellular provider.
Meanwhile, Pelephone – part of Bezeq, whose former CEO Avi Gabbay left to join Cellcom last month –announced similar intentions in a regulatory filing on 17th February.
It has submitted a bid for $207 million, with the proposal valid until 15th April.
While the discussions do not confirm that a takeover is imminent, they could pave the way for a major shakeup across Israel’s telecoms landscape.
However, such drastic changes to the marketplace have previously been blocked by regulators and government.
In 2015, Cellcom Israel announced that a purchase agreement for Golan Telecom had been reached for $300.9 million.
Confirming the deal at the time, chairman Ami Erel said it would allow Cellcom to bring a low-cost brand into the portfolio. But in early 2016, Israel’s government and regulators stepped in to prevent the market consolidating.