Ceragon shareholders reject hostile takeover bid

Shareholders of the Israeli 5G wireless communications equipment provider have overwhelmingly voted against Aviat Networks attempt to oust board members.

Shareholders of Israeli 5G wireless communications equipment provider Ceragon Networks (Nasdaq: CRNT) have dismissed an attempt by US microwave networking solutions company Aviat Networks (Nasdaq: AVNW) to oust the board of directors and appoint their own directors. Aviat, which is a rival of Ceragon in the field of communications equipment, has sought to takeover Ceragon and in an initial move has built a 5% stake in the company by purchasing shares on Nasdaq in recent months.

Aviat had tried to oust former CEO Ira Palti, Yael Langer and David Ripstein from the board but Ceragon chairman and shareholder Zohar Zisapel called on shareholders to reject the bid. Institutional consultancy company ISS had recommended ousting Palti and Langer but also not accepting Aviat's candidates for the board.

Ceragon, led by CEO Doron Arazi, provides solutions for the wireless communications market. At a meeting on Tuesday, shareholders adopted the position of the current board of directors.

In a statement, the company said, We appreciate the significant support that our Board received from our shareholders. While preparing for the EGM, we have had the opportunity to speak directly with many of our shareholders to discuss Aviat's indication of interest as well as Ceragon's strategy and performance. We are pleased that our shareholders rejected Aviat's attempts to take control of our Board. We believe Ceragon has significant business momentum and upside, and we look forward to putting this proxy contest behind us. As we indicated many times, our Board is focused on maximizing value for all shareholders and remains open to any potential transaction that delivers full, fair and certain value to Ceragon shareholders including a combination with Aviat."

The full details of the shareholder vote have not been published, but Ceragon said that Aviat's candidates for the board received less than 15% of the votes (less than 10%, if not taking into account Aviat's 5% stake).

There are indications that Aviat may have dropped its hostile takeover bid for Ceragon. A report published after the shareholders meeting said that over the past two weeks Aviat has sold shares worth $2.3 million in Ceragon and reduced its stake to 4%.

Ceragon's share price is currently up 0.22% on Nasdaq at $2.295, giving a market cap of $192.856 million. When Aviat first reported its takeover bid in late June, it said it planned to buy Ceragon for $235 million.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 24, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

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