Partner confirms HOT’s withdrawal of acquisition offer

1 Apr 2020

Israel’s Partner Communications has announced that a binding offer made by HOT Telecommunication Systems and its controlling shareholder, Altice Europe, has been withdrawn.

Issuing an update on the matter in a press release, Partner noted that its board had been evaluating the deal since HOT submitted its offer to acquire 100% of Partner’s share capital in January 2020. Partner noted that earlier this month it had called on HOT to verify its parent company’s ability to complete the transaction, specifically requesting that it provide ‘the commitment letter of the financing bank of Altice containing such bank’s undertaking to finance the transaction’. With this unforthcoming, Partner’s board issued a second request – setting a deadline of 31 March 2020 for the letter to be provided – while reiterating ‘some of the major open issues that required resolution, namely the certainty of payment of a termination fee by Altice and HOT if the transaction were derailed, and the guarantee of HOT’s obligations by entities in the Altice group’.

However, rather than receiving the confirmatory letter as requested, Partner says it was advised on 30 March by Altice that it was not in a position to continue with the negotiations and was therefore terminating the transaction. According to Partner, reasons given for the withdrawal from the deal included the ‘rapidly deteriorating economic situation and bleak prospects for a short recovery’. Further, Altice was said to have suggested that it had become clear the parties involved were far from being able to meet the expected timeline for the deal’s conclusion, while it acknowledged there were many issues that had yet to be agreed upon by the involved parties.

In terms of Partner’s future plans, it has said that it now ‘intends to continue its current business development and business expansion and to pursue its standalone business strategy, as planned prior to the receipt of the unsolicited offer from Altice and HOT.’