Hot mulls strategic investor for fiber optic infrastructure

Patrick Drahi Photo: Alon Ron

The Israeli telco is mulling splitting into services and infrastructure companies in order to upgrade its infrastructure.

HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (TASE: HOT) is considering splitting into two companies - a services company and an infrastructure company, and to bring a strategic partner into the infrastructure company that will help it significantly upgrade its infrastructure, sources inform "Globes." Such a step would be part of the policy of Hot's controlling shareholder, the international telecom giant Altice, controlled by French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi.

Hot is faced with the challenge of upgrading to a fiber optic infrastructure otherwise it will be tough to compete with IBC (which is teaming with Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL)) and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ). With the market demanding the ability to send more and larger data faster, a fiber optic network is a necessity.

Such a step, bringing in a strategic investor to help build a better infrastructure, would be accomplished with the full consent of the Ministry of Communications, which is eager to encourage competition.

The Ministry of Communications said, "The Ministry sees communications infrastructures as national infrastructures and leads a policy that encourages national deployment based on fiber optics. The Ministry of Communications would welcome the Hot Group recruiting a strategic investor to invest in an advanced infrastructure."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 3, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Patrick Drahi Photo: Alon Ron
Patrick Drahi Photo: Alon Ron
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