This evening the deal was signed by Searchlight and David Fuhrer and his family for the acquisition of a controlling stake in Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) parent company B Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq:BCOM; TASE: BCOM).
According to B Communications, completion of the deal will allow for the injection of about NIS 640 million, which will stabilize and significantly improve its financial situation. As a result of the deal, B Communications will be able to repay fully the balance of its debt to Series B bondholders, and to make an early repayment of about NIS 614 million on Series C bonds. The deal includes an equity component including the issuing of rights to the company's shareholders.
B Communications holds a 26.34% stake in Bezeq, which is its controlling core. The Searchlight deal includes the purchase of all Internet Gold Golden Lines Ltd. (Nasdaq: IGLD; TASE:IGLD) holdings in B Communications in consideration for NIS 225 million and a direct investment of NIS 260 million in B Communications. In accordance with the agreement, upon closing, Internet Gold will pay B Communications NIS 345 million (which amount will include the consideration payable by Searchlight to Internet Gold) in consideration for B Communications shares (NIS 35 million in a rights offering issuance) and debentures (NIS 310 million).
Searchlight Partner Darren Glatt said, "As an investment firm with significant experience in global communications, we are excited to partner with the existing stakeholders in both Bcom and Bezeq and to serve as a value-added and strategically-oriented investor that will enhance value for the companies and their customers over the long term. We have confidence in the management teams of both Bcom and Bezeq, and we look forward to lending our support to Bezeq's ongoing efforts to raise the quality of communications infrastructure and services in Israel, particularly around fiber and 5G, for the collective benefit of consumers and businesses, the Israeli communications market, the Israeli economy and the State of Israel."
RBC and Citi acted as financial advisors to Searchlight in the deal. Latham & Watkins, Meitar and Shibolet & Co. acted as legal advisers to Searchlight in the deal.
B Communications CEO Ami Barlev said, "We are excited to enter into the transaction with Searchlight and the Fuhrer Family. This is an important milestone for the company and strengthens its future prospects. The transaction is the result of diligent analysis and thoughtful strategic deliberations over the past six months. Our board, with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors, determined that the transaction, upon closing, will deliver significant value to our creditors and to our shareholders.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 24, 2019
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