HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (TASE: HOT) parent company Altice, controlled by Patrick Drahi, has submitted a bid to buy rival Israeli telecom group Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) from the receiver. Altice Europe N.V. (Euronext: ATC) has confirmed that it has submitted an offer for 100% of the shares of Partner.
Partner's controlling stake is currently held by the receiver on behalf of Hutchison. This means that Altice is currently conducting negotiations with the receiver who if agreement is reached will bring the deal to the courts for approval.
Such a deal between Hot and Partner would be the first major merger in Israel's highly competitive telecom market. Both companies share the same cellular network which makes such a merger a natural development. There have previously been merger talks between Hot and Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) but such a merger would mean Hot would have to break up its partnership with Partner.
If the regulator were to approve a merger between Hot and Partner, then Cellcom would have to look elsewhere for a merger. Market sources believe that the regulator would be inclined to approve one major merger in Israel's telecom sector. Such an approval would have a far reaching impact on the sector and prices.
Partner has a market cap of $806.7 million.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 29, 2020
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