Two of the Israeli mobile operators that had submitted bids for Motorola Israel’s iDEN subsidiary, MIRS Communications, have pulled out of the race, according to Reuters. Partner Communications and Cellcom have both announced their decision to withdraw their interest in the sale, though neither has provided details on the reasoning behind it, with Partner simply noting that its ‘offer for the acquisition of 100% of the issued and outstanding share capital of MIRS Communications…will not be proceeding and discussions have been terminated.’
In separate but related news, Haaretz is reporting that Pelephone has made the highest offer in the bidding process for MIRS, having offered an estimated USD250 million. Two other bidders are understood to have reached the final round of the sale process; long-distance and internet service provider 012 Smile.Communications; and French businessman Patrick Drahi, who is the largest shareholder in Israeli cableco HOT-Telecommunication Systems. Both Drahi and 012 Smile are believed to have submitted bids in the region of USD150 million. The final stage of the sale process is expected to be completed on 14 October.