Israel’s largest operator, Cellcom, is considering acquiring the country’s smallest player, Golan Telecom, “following an invitation by Bank Rothschild, representing Golan Telecom’s shareholders”.

The company said it would “review the possible purchase of holdings in, or assets of, Golan Telecom” although “there is no assurance that the company will make an offer to purchase Golan Telecom nor as to the execution of such a sale.”

Earlier in the week, Golan said it has asked an investment bank “to prepare and examine options that could result in a sale, acquisition or merger so long as they leave Golan Telecom independent”, adding that “shareholders are alert to a potential consolidation similar to what is occurring in other markets around the world”.

Golan Telecom is backed by Xavier Niel, the French entrepreneur behind disruptive start-up operator Iliad/Free.

Golan Telecom has 850,000 customers.

According to GSMA Intelligence, Cellcom is the country’s top operator, with around 29 per cent market share, while Golan comes in last place with 7 per cent, behind Orange (Partner), Pelephone (Bezeq) and HOT Mobile (Altice).