HOT initiates tie-up talks with MIRS

5 May 2011

Israeli cableco HOT Telecommunication Systems, which is controlled by French businessman Patrick Drahi, has reportedly notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) that it has started merger negotiations with local iDEN operator MIRS Communications, which is also now under Drahi’s control. According to Haaretz, it is understood that HOT’s board has already approved the proposal, with the company claiming that such a deal would lead to increased efficiencies and allow it to better compete with incumbent Bezeq. A tie-up of the two operators has been expected, particularly following Drahi’s acquisition of a controlling stake in HOT; as previously reported by CommsUpdate, in March 2011 Drahi’s bid to consolidate his control of the cableco took a step forward after he acquired the bulk of shares in the company held by Fishman Holdings. Following the deal Drahi’s stake in HOT stood at 51.7% after his Cool Holdings Ltd unit purchased some 4.6 million shares from Fishman Holdings, representing around 6% of the company, at a price of ILS54.40 (USD14) per share; the total cost of the acquisition was around ILS249 million.

Israel, HOT Mobile, HOT Telecommunication Systems