Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) Nir Sztern is on the way to take the helm at energy company Paz Oil Company Ltd. (TASE:PZOL). As of now, Sztern is the leading candidate to take the place of Paz CEO Yona Fogel, who resigned following disagreements with Paz chairman Avraham Bigger.
Cellcom's share price plunged 6% on the news. The companies involved made no official response on the matter.
It is easy to understand Sztern's move from Cellcom, which has suffered from a consistent downtrend that has picked up speed in the past year and is burdened by substantial debt. Cellcom recently embarked on an extensive recovery plan, including a NIS 150 million cut in annual expenses by substantially lowering spending and payments to suppliers and cutting down on personnel; reduction of investments to NIS 450-500 million a year; buying back NIS 150 million of its bonds; and other measures.
Following publication of the plan, rumors circulated in the market of tension between controlling shareholder Eduardo Elsztain (the controlling shareholder in the IDF-Discount Investment group, which holds 44% of Cellcom's shares) and Cellcom chairman Ami Erel. It is believed that Erel will probably not continue much longer in his position.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 18, 2019
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