Israeli industrial conglomerate Elco Holdings is said to be closing in on the acquisition of local mobile network operator (MNO) Golan Telecom. According to Globes Online, Golan Telecom shareholder Patrick Pariente, who last month was said to have taken over responsibility for negotiating the sale of the cellco, is reportedly due to arrive in Israel shortly to finalise talks with Elco Holdings. It is understood that Golan is not discussing terms of a possible sale with any other potential buyer, and both it and rival Cellcom have asked the court for a 48-hour extension in order to complete talks.
While Elco withdrew as a possible purchaser of Golan back in September 2016 over the latter’s refusal to disclose full details of its position, it has been reported that its return to the negotiating table comes after indications that there was flexibility over a proposed ILS350 million (USD92 million) deal which would include a long-term agreement for the unification of Golan’s mobile infrastructure with that belonging to Cellcom.
This network tie-up arrangement is said to be the means by which Cellcom will be compensated for debts it claims are outstanding by Golan. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last week Cellcom filed a request to appoint an interim liquidator to Golan Telecom, following the latter’s failure to pay due amounts for national roaming services; the move came after Cellcom claimed Golan had rejected demands to pay the ILS600 million it reportedly owes the former. Alongside this, Cellcom also confirmed that it was in advanced stages of negotiations for a possible network sharing agreement with a third party interested in purchasing Golan, noting that such a deal could resolve past national roaming payment differences with its cellular rival.