Also agrees to sell its current telecommunications assets to obtain anti-trust approval
Israeli telecommunications service provider 012 Smile.Communications (SMLC) has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire a controlling interest of approximately 30.6% in Bezeq The Israel Telecommunication Corp. from Apax-Saban-Arkin group, in a cash transaction valued at approximately NIS6.5 billion, or NIS8.00 per share.
Bezeq provides wired and wireless telephone and other communications services to consumer and business subscribers throughout Israel. Bezeq, which has over 2.5m access lines and about one million broadband ASL lines, also provides mobile services through its cellular phone subsidiary Pelephone Communications. In addition, it is an ISP and data service provider and an international long distance service provider in Israel.
012 Smile, owned by Shaul Elovitch’s Eurocom Communications, will be entitled to receive all dividends payable by Bezeq to Apax-Saban-Arkin group prior to closing. The transaction will be financed through a combination of cash, debt and stock. It has also agreed to sell its current telecommunications assets in order to obtain anti-trust approval, which proceeds will also be used to finance the transaction.
Stella Handler, chief executive officer of 012 Smile, said: This transaction is in line with our strategy to become, through selective investments, the leading integrated player in Israel’s telecom marketplace. Given its unique competitive positioning and strong cash flow generation, Bezeq represents an attractive investment for 012 Smile.
The transaction, which was approved by the 012 Smile Board, is subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, including approvals from the Israeli Ministry of Communications, the Israeli Antitrust Commissioner and from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Communications of the State of Israel. The company expects the transaction to close in approximately six months.