Israeli operator group Bezeq threw its hat into the ring to acquire rival Golan Telecom and trump interest from Cellcom, as it looks to keep pace with other potential consolidation efforts in the country.
In a statement Bezeq said its Pelephone Communications subsidiary tabled an ILS710 million ($207 million) bid for Golan Telecom, which will remain valid until 15 April. The operator noted any deal would require the approval of the boards of each operator, along with “various regulators” including the Ministry of Communications and the Commissioner for Economic Competition.
Pelephone Communications made its move on 16 February, the same day rival Cellcom officially confirmed it opened negotiations regarding a potential acquisition of Golan Telecom.
Cellcom’s move comes at a difficult time, with a massive restructure underway which already resulted in layoffs as it aims to slash ILS150 million from operating costs by end-2020.
A previous move by the company for Golan Telecom in 2015 was blocked by regulators due to competition concerns.
Pelephone Communications and Cellcom’s interest in Golan Telecom appears to have been sparked by a move last month by Altice Europe subsidiary Hot Mobile for Partner Communications.
The latter move was tipped to signficantly boost Hot Mobile’s Israeli presence, in turn increasing competition in the market.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back