Israeli mobile operator Pelephone – owned by telco Bezeq – has announced an ILS710 million (USD207 million) takeover bid for rival cellco Golan Telecom, reports Globes. Golan is already in confirmed talks to sell itself to another mobile rival, Cellcom, which has offered ILS600 million plus the waiver of an ILS130 million loan it previously provided to Golan. Further complicating matters, earlier this month it was reported that another bid for Golan may come from Partner Communications. Globes wrote that Partner is reportedly likely to reject an offer made for 100% of its share capital by HOT Telecommunication Systems and has instead initiated its own approach for the possible acquisition of Golan.
The latest report adds that Israel’s Competition Authority is thought unlikely to approve the Pelephone bid for Golan, as the agency is expected to oppose any deal that would strengthen the Bezeq group’s market position. Another major factor going against the proposed Pelephone deal is the ILS600 million penalty Golan would be liable for if it dissolved its existing network infrastructure sharing agreement with Cellcom.