A move by Altice Europe to create the largest operator in Israel by mobile connections through an acquisition of Partner Communications was called off, with the latter citing an inability to agree terms around a timeline and a recent deterioration in the global economy for the move.

In a statement, Altice Europe said its Israeli subsidiary Hot Telecommunication Systems “terminated discussions regarding the potential acquisition”, after the Netherlands-headquartered company took “note of recent market speculation” regarding the deal.

The Israeli operators opened talks on a deal in January, with Altice Europe targeting full ownership of Partner Communication. However, it caveated there was no certainty the talks would result in a “any such transaction” being concluded.

While Altice Europe offered little in the way of explanation for dropping the deal, a statement issued on news wires by Partner Communication explained the companies hit several hurdles during the resulting discussions.

This revealed the companies made several attempts to settle on terms of the deal, but that Partner Communications had been unable to verify the financial backing Altice Europe had lined up, or details of recompense in the event any deal ultimately fell through.

Partner Communications added it had also become clear the companies would not be able to “meet the timeline” Altice Europe set to complete a transaction, with the latter also expressing concern around a deterioration of the “economic situation and bleak prospects for a short recovery”.

Earnings figures for 2019 released by Partner Communications last week showed net profit fell 66 per cent year-on-year to ILS19 million ($5.3 million).