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HOT to trot; board approves HOT/MIRS merger plan

20 Jul 2011

Israeli cableco HOT Telecommunications Systems, which is controlled by French businessman Patrick Drahi, has gained board approval for its mooted merger with cellular operator MIRS Communications, according to Haaretz. It is understood that under the terms of the deal, which as previously reported by CommsUpdate was first rumoured in May 2011, HOT will pay MIRS shareholders ILS1.3 billion (USD377.3 million), minus the ILS257 million that MIRS owes its creditors. The cellco is already owned by Drahi, who acquired a 100% stake in MIRS via his Altice Group in December 2009 for USD170 million, and the merger with HOT will allow the cableco to provide a full range of telecoms services, including fixed line voice, high speed internet and television. Further, the deal is seen as a means of competing more effectively with fixed line incumbent Bezeq and other local telecom providers, with the added bonus for HOT that unlike its major rival it faces few regulatory constraints on pricing.

Israel, Altice International, HOT Mobile, HOT Telecommunication Systems, Next Alt

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