Investment fund Sky, managed by Zvi Yochman and Nir Dagan, has expressed interest in acquiring telecommunications company Cellcom (TASE: CEL). Cellcom has been up for sale for several months, with the controlling shareholders of its parent company Discount Investment, Tzahi Nahmias and brothers Michael and Daniel Salkind, seeking to exit from telecommunications and focus on real estate. Talks have taken place between the sides, but it is not clear to what extent the fund is capable of undertaking a deal like this with its own resources.
The Sky fund joins British private equity fund Apax Partners, which is also examining the possibility of acquiring Cellcom. Rival telecommunications company Hot also expressed interest in buying Cellcom six months ago, and that possibility, which receded because of regulatory problems and differences over price, could return following Discount Investment’s formal declaration of its desire to examine offers for the sale of the company.
Zvi Yochman is well acquainted with the telecommunications market. He led the merger between 013 Barak and Netvision in the 2000s. This is also not the first time that Sky has examined the possibility of entering the telecommunications market. In the past, it looked at investing in several mobile telephony companies.
Holding company Discount Investment confirmed today that it had officially begun to act to sell the controlling stake in Cellcom. This morning, the company announced that its board had decided to instruct the management to examine the realization of its holding in Cellcom, in whole or in part, in one deal or several.
Discount Investment holds 45.72% of Cellcom (47.80% of the voting rights), worth NIS 1.34 billion. The controlling cores in Partner and Bezeq are smaller (30% in Partner and 25% in Bezeq), and so Discount Investment could sell a smaller controlling stake and sell the rest of the shares via the stock exchange.
Discount Investment says that it has received initial approaches for the sale of its holding, but no concrete offer. Discount Investment CEO Doron Cohen has met Zehavit Cohen of Apax Partners to discuss the matter, but at the end of the meeting no concrete offer was made to buy Cellcom.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 29, 2022.
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