Israeli communications group Internet Gold has received authorisation from the country’s Anti-Trust Commissioner to increase its ownership interest in subsidiary 012 Golden Lines from 60% to approximately 100% for USD56 million. The purchase remains subject to the approval of the Ministry of Communications, following which Internet Gold plans to merge O12 Golden Lines into its own communications business.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Internet Gold agreed to acquire a 60% stake in rival telephony and internet access provider 012 Golden Lines in July 2006, as part of plans to become a multiple service operator. The merged company will have estimated annual revenues of ILD1.15 billion and EBITDA of ILS280 million in 2007, and a predicted 33% share of the internet and international communications markets. It expects to roll out WiMAX services in 2007 and IPTV by mid-2008. Additionally, it is rumoured that the enlarged Internet Gold may now look to acquire or seal a partnership deal with Israel’s third major mobile provider, Partner Communications, majority owned by Hutchison Telecommunications International.