Drahi nears HOT control

Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Group sold most of its HOT stake to the entrepreneur.

French businessman Patrick Drahi continues to increase his stake in Hot Cable Systems Media Ltd. (TASE: HOT), and is nearing control of the company. Yitzhak Tshuva-controlled Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) today confirmed a report by "Globes" from three weeks ago, and reported that it has sold 75% of its HOT holding, amounting to 12% of the company, for NIS 402 million.

Delek Group owns its HOT stake through wholly-owned subsidiary Delek Investment and Properties Ltd. The sale was made at NIS 44 per share, a 10% premium on HOT's closing price of NIS 40.50 on Thursday. Delek Group expects to report a pretax capital gain of NIS 195 million on the sale in its financial report for the fourth quarter. Following the sale, Delek will own less than 5% of HOT, and is no longer a party at interest.

Prior to acquiring Delek's stake in HOT, Drahi owned 33% of the company. He had earlier acquired 12.86% through an offer to purchase at NIS 35 per share, for a total investment of NIS 342 million. Already HOT's largest shareholder, he now owns 45% of the company. To acquire full control of the company, he will have to publish a new offer to purchase.

Delek Group CEO Assaf Bartfeld said today, "Delek Group will get an additional cash flow of about NIS 400 million, which it will use to make new investments in its core businesses of energy, infrastructures, vehicles, and finance."

HOT's two other main shareholders are Eliezer Fishman's Fishman Holdings and Yediot Communications Ltd. Eliezer Fishman is the controlling shareholder in “Globes”.

Delek Group's share rose 3% in morning trading to NIS 695, giving a market cap of NIS 7.66 billion. HOT's share rose 2.4% to NIS 41.50, giving a market cap of NIS 3.08 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 15, 2009

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

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