Cellcom ownership discussions continue

9 Aug 2005

Discount Investment Court (DIC), a subsidiary of Nochi Dankner’s IDB Holdings, has resumed negotiations with the Safra Group to buy its 34.75% stake in Israeli cellco Cellcom. The Safra’s shares are currently held via Telleman, a holding company jointly owned with BellSouth. DIC agreed to buy BellSouth’s 34.75% stake in Cellcom in May for USD625.5 million, although the deal cannot be completed until after 15 August, as Safra has first right of refusal on the shares. Safra therefore has three options open to it; keep its 50% of Telleman, buy BellSouth’s shares (and therefore give it a 69.5% stake in the cellco), or sell out to DIC. The latter option is thought to be the most likely outcome, and would give DIC a 94.5% holding in Cellcom. DIC’s parent company IDB, meanwhile, has majority control of long-distance and internet provider NetVision and international operator 013 Barak.

Israel, Cellcom