Cable TV Council Approves Idan Cable Network Sale to Golden Channels, Fishman

The Council required that Idans independence and ICPs current ownership structure should be maintained.

The Cable Television Council yesterday approved Golden Channels and Fishman Holdings application to purchase cable television company Idan from The Israel Corporation and CableCom of Switzerland. The networks franchise is in Beer Sheva, Nes Tziona, Acre, Rehovot, and Arad.

The approval was delayed because Council members feared that Golden Channels owners - Aurec and Yediot Aharonot - would, through acquiring Idan, also acquire control of ICP, the content company owned jointly by Golden Channels, Tevel, Matav, and Idan. The first two mentioned companies currently hold 30% of the company each, while the last two each have 20%. Eliezer Fishman, who controls Fishman Holdings, also holds a parcel of shares in Yediot Aharonot, which, as mentioned, is among the owners of Golden Channels.

The Councils condition for approving the acquisition is that an arrangement be found whereby Golden Channels holding in ICP will not increase, i.e. will remain at 20%. The mechanism for settling the issue has still not been determined, and the purchasers have been given an extension for submitting a proposal to the Council for complying with the condition.

Idan will remain an independent company, and will operate as a separate franchisee. The Council made the approval conditional on subscribers rights being preserved. With the approval of the deal, Golden Channels subscribers now number 400,000, 40% of all cable television subscribers - 300,000 in Golden Channels, and 100,000 in Idan.

Eliezer Fishman is a party at interest in "Globes"

Published by Israel's Business Arena March 4, 1998

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