Three buyers vying to acquire Bezeq parent

Bezeq Photo: Reuters

Searchlight Capital Partners and two other foreign investors are bidding to buy B Communications and its 26.3% Bezeq stake but government tenders could torpedo the deal.

Three groups have reached the final stage in the race to buy B Communications (Nasdaq: BCOM; TASE: BCOM), the parent company of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ).

One of the groups vying for B Communications is the Searchlight Capital Partners, represented by Citi Bank. The other two groups are also foreign companies with high levels of transparency, sources inform "Globes." The three groups reached the final stage after entering the information room, conducting due diligence and meeting with Ministry of Communications officials in order to learn about future plans for Bezeq and Israel's telecom sector.

B Communications holds a 26.3% stake in Bezeq, which was worth about NIS 2.7 billion, down from NIS 4.3 billion at the end of last January.

According to the timetable, the companies are expected to submit final bids by the end of next month.

B. Communications is itself owned by Internet Gold Ltd. (Nasdaq: IGLD; TASE:IGLD), which is controlled by Shaul Elovitch's financially troubled Eurocom Group. The acquisition of B. Communications will mark the end of the Elovitch era at Bezeq.

A major stumbling block to any potential acquisition will be the Ministry of Communications tender for 5G frequencies and how it affects Bezeq. The tender on deploying fiber optic cables has already put Bezeq at a disadvantage.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 27, 2018

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

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Bezeq Photo: Reuters
Bezeq Photo: Reuters
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