French businessman buys Leumi stake in HOT

Patrick Drahi is seeking control of the cable TV company.

Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) has sold its 11.38 million shares in Hot Cable Systems Media Ltd. (TASE: HOT),14.96% of the company, to Cool Holding Ltd. controlled by French businessman Patrick Drahi for NIS 381 million.

Drahi was an executive at UPC France.

Sources inform "Globes" that Drahi is seeking control of HOT and in recent days has met with representatives of Delek Investments, Fishman Group and Yediot Ahronot and offered to pay NIS 33.50 per share. Drahi has stressed that he is not seeking a hostile takeover but wants to increase his investments in Israel, among other reasons because he is a Zionist.

Bank Leumi will report a post-tax capital gain of about NIS 120 million on the sale.

Leumi's is selling the stake for less than the price of the torpedoed sale to Nochi Dankner's IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH) unit NetVision Ltd. (TASE: NTSN) six months ago.

Bank Leumi sold its HOT stake for NIS 33.50 per share. HOT's share fell 0.9% in early trading today to NIS 29.69. Bank Leumi's share rose 1.9% to NIS 10.75.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 3, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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