Israeli operator Cellcom looked to have won a race to acquire rival Golan Telecom, seeing off competition from Bezeq with the signing of an MoU which aims to deliver a concrete deal by the close of the year.
Terms agreed involve a potential purchase price of ILS590 million ($172.3 million) which would be paid in two installments: ILS413 upon completion of the transaction and the remaining ILS177 million within three years of closing.
Cellcom announced the MoU shortly after rival Bezeq launched an ILS710 million bid for Golan Telecom, with a view to merging the business with its Pelephone operation.
Any deal will be subject to “standard and customary conditions”, along with due diligence by Cellcom, “receipt of regulatory approvals” and a continuation of Golan Telecom’s current financial performance, the company said in a statement announcing the MOU.
If it succeeds, Cellcom will add 900,000 subscribers to the 2.7 million it counted at end Q3 2019, making the operator the clear market leader by that metric. Its closest rival, Partner Communications, had 2.65 million subscribers at the close of the third quarter, followed by Pelephone (2.31 million) and Hot Mobile (1.28 million), information from each company showed.
The agreement could be bad news for Hot Mobile, with sources telling local publication Globes a planned acquisition of Partner Communications could be scuppered as a result of the consolidation.