Israel's commercial TV sector looks set for a major shakeup after Reshet (Channel 13) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RGE, the owner of Channel 10. The merger will be subject to approval by the Israel Antitrust Authority, which in the past has not shown enthusiasm about the idea of consolidation in the commercial TV sector.
Under the terms of the MoU, sources inform "Globes" that Reshet (led by investors Udi Angel and Idan Ofer) would own 60% of the merged company and RGE, Channel 10's main shareholder, would own 40%. RGE is owned in equal shares by Len Blavatnik, the Recanati family, and Aviv Giladi.
Another complication is that for the merger to go ahead, Reshet would be required to sell its 50% stake in Hachadashot (formerly Channel 2 News), which it owns with Keshet (Channel 12).
Since Channel 2 was split last November, Israel's three commercial stations - Keshet (Channel 12), Reshet (Channel 13) and Eser (Channel 14) have all sustained substantial financial losses of millions and sometimes tens of millions of shekels per month. The combined losses of the three companies are expected to reach NIS 200-250 million over the first year since the split.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 13, 2018
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