Israeli mobile network operator (MNO) Cellcom has completed the purchase of the entire share capital of rival provider Golan Telecom. In a press release confirming the development, the company said that the deal had been completed based on the previously agreed Memorandum of Understanding inked back in February, albeit ‘subject to certain modifications’. It noted that in finalising the deal it paid ‘a total sum of approximately ILS545 million (USD160 million) plus an amount equal to the cash and cash equivalents of Golan as of the closing date and minus any financial indebtedness, which were paid in full by the Company to Golan’s shareholders in cash’.
Meanwhile, Cellcom also confirmed that in the wake of the transaction’s completion, Golan Telecom’s MNO licence has now been replaced with an MVNO concession for an interim period, in line with regulatory conditions imposed upon the deal. It noted that this new concession had been issued after Golan deposited a ILS75 million bank guarantee with the Ministry of Communication (MoC), a payment made in respect of a demand by the regulator that Golan return certain monetary benefits it had previously received. Golan has, however, disputed the need to make the repayment, while Cellcom noted in a financial filing earlier this month that a final decision regarding this matter by the MoC will be made ‘at a later date’.