Mon, May 16, 9:59 AM
- Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) is up 6.7% as it says it's negotiating with Golan Telecom to allow Golan to keep using Cellcom networks in providing its services.
- That followed news that Israel regulators were lining up to oppose what was a 1.17B-shekel (about $307M) transaction for Cellcom to buy Golan.
- An agreement with Golan on network use would require sign-off by Israeli regulators.
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Mon, Mar. 28, 10:16 AM
- Cellcom Israel (CEL +2.1%) says Israel's antitrust commissioner has told the company it may oppose its $300M deal to buy Golan Telecom.
- The regulator has summoned Cellcom to a hearing to determine whether modifications can be made to address the current layout of the deal.
- When the company announced the deal in November, it was against the backdrop of mixed signals from Israel's government about consolidating the market. Ministry of Communications chief Shlomo Filber had said "I don’t see a problem with Cellcom, Partner or Bezeq buying Golan if they want ... The market will continue to be competitive even with four main players and other niche players."
- That was followed by other ministers who stated they might opposed consolidation.
- Previously: Cellcom Israel announces $300M deal to buy Golan Telecom (Nov. 05 2015)
Tue, Jan. 12, 9:29 AM
- The CEO of Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN), up 4.5% premarket, says that a merger he's discussing with Bouygues Telecom (OTCPK:BOUYY) would have to "create value for Orange and boost investments in the French telecoms sector."
- "I will not engage Orange in a risky deal," says Stephane Richard, adding that the deal wouldn't have a negative impact on consumers, and that he sees the negotiation wrapping up in weeks instead of months.
- Orange is in talks to buy its rival for about €10B (around $10.9B) in cash and stock. The move would reduce France's mobile carriers from four to three and give the combination close to 50% market share in communications.
- Whatever happens in the talks, Richard says, France will remain Orange's leading shareholder. The deal's needed, he believes, to stimulate infrastructure investment and keep France's telecoms competitive with European rivals.
- An Orange subsidiary, Orange Cote d'Ivoire, has reached a deal to acquire 100% of the Liberian subsidiary of Cellcom (NYSE:CEL). Liberia has a population of 4.3M with a relatively low mobile penetration rate of 66%, and Cellcom's operation is the leader there.
- Previously: France plans to remain key Orange shareholder, assess Bouygues talks (Jan. 06 2016)
- Previously: Report: Talks moving forward on €10B Orange-Bouygues deal (Jan. 04 2016)
Nov. 5, 2015, 1:32 AM
- Amid mixed signals from Israel's government over the benefits of telecom consolidation, Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) has announced an agreement to buy Golan Telecom for 1.17B shekels (about $300.7M).
- That deal means an enterprise value of about 1B shekels for Golan and an EV/EBITDA multiple of about 5, Cellcom says. For the first half of 2015, Golan had revenues of 243M shekels, an EBITDA of 37M shekels, and net profit of 2M shekels.
- It intends to operate lower-price brand Golan as an independent company, and finance the price through equity and debt (perhaps including a rights offering). "We currently expect that in addition to the NIS 400 million convertible note, we would issue approximately NIS 200 million of equity and the remainder from internal sources and a debt financing," the company said.
- Last week, Israeli telecoms rallied as the director general of the country's Ministry of Communications, Shlomo Filber, said that too much competition had made prices too low: "I don’t see a problem with Cellcom, Partner (NASDAQ:PTNR) or Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) buying Golan if they want ... The market will continue to be competitive even with four main players and other niche players."
- That was before other ministers suggested they may be opposed to market consolidation. Cellcom had announced its intention to consider a transaction like this in a 6-K filed in August.
- Previously: Israeli telecoms give back gains on more government consolidation talk (Oct. 27 2015)
- Previously: Israeli telecoms rally as regulator suggests competition too heavy (Oct. 26 2015)
Oct. 27, 2015, 11:52 AM
- After a day of gains fueled by comments from Israel's top communications minister, the country's top telecoms are selling off today as other government officials signaled their opposition to consolidation.
- Partner Communications (PTNR -3.3%) and Cellcom Israel (CEL -2.4%) were both lower after gaining more than 3.6% yesterday.
- While the ministry's director general, Shlomo Filber, said yesterday that “I don’t see a problem with Cellcom, Partner or Bezeq buying Golan if they want," other government officials (including the finance ministry) oppose a Golan deal and Filber agreed to convey that opposition to Golan.
- Partner said that most business was approved at its annual general meeting, including terms for CEO Isaac Benbenisti, board re-elections and compensation and the company's auditor, though shareholders voted down severance terms for former CEO Haim Romano.
- Previously: Israeli telecoms rally as regulator suggests competition too heavy (Oct. 26 2015)
Aug. 27, 2015, 11:04 AM
- Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) is off 2.5% in U.S. trading after it announced its initial review of a possible purchase of some or all of Golan Telecom, a rival that put itself on the block.
- Bank Rothschild, representing Golan Telecom shareholders, has invited offers for the company -- a move that is likely to remove a party from the hotly competitive Israeli wireless market, and result in service price increases.
- ADRs of peer Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) are 4.1% lower, and Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) is down 3.4% in OTC trading.
- Earlier, Cellcom closed down 4.7% in Tel Aviv; Partner closed down 5.3%.
- Previously: Israeli telecoms up as former disrupter Golan Telecom hires bank to explore sale (Aug. 26 2015)
Aug. 26, 2015, 10:37 AM
- Israeli telecoms are surging today, as Golan Telecom -- a splashy entrant into the market that spurred fierce price cuts from competitors -- says it's hired a bank to explore selling itself.
- A sale would take some time but likely then mean price hikes from competitors. Cellcom (CEL +16.1%), Partner Communications (PTNR +12.3%) and Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY +0.6%) were all up in Tel Aviv and U.S. trading.
- Golan has 850K subscribers, about a third of that of market leader Cellcom.
Jul. 13, 2015, 9:36 AM
- Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) is up 4.8% as it buys Home Cellular, another step in the consolidation of Israel's wireless market players.
- The deal for the MVNO follows Pelephone's similar acquisition of MVNO YouPhone. The moves leave Rami Levy Hashikma as the only remaining mobile virtual network operator in the country.
- Home Cellular has about 20K subscribers. Cellcom reportedly closed the deal last week but wasn't required to notify the stock exchange due to the size of the deal (a few million shekels).
- Competitor Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR), which often moves with Cellcom, is up 3.5%.
Jun. 25, 2015, 11:00 AM
- Partner Communications (PTNR +18.4%) and Cellcom Israel (CEL +6.2%) are leading telecom top gainers in U.S. trading today.
- Israel's government has ended a years-long process by approving the merger between Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) -- provider of Pelephone service -- and DBS Satellite Services ((Yes)), without conditions.
- The Bezeq deal is said to be worth up to $278M and was approved at long last by Benjamin Netanyahu, acting as communications minister.
- Bezeq had cited competition as its main case for the merger, particularly international backing that some operators in the market enjoy.
May 5, 2014, 3:10 PM
- Globes reports American Tower (AMT +1.6%) is talking with Israel's Cellcom (CEL -0.9%) and Pelephone Communications about buying their mobile sites and leasing them back.
- AMT, which posted a Q1 beat on Thursday, has been on an acquisition binge in recent years. The company agreed to buy giant U.S. cell tower owner Global Tower for $4.8B last year, and also paid $811M to buy and lease back Brazilian/Mexican towers from NII Holdings.
- Thanks to its acquisitions, AMT ended Q1 with $14.3B in debt, a sum offset by just $333M in cash/equivalents.
- Globes notes antitrust regulators have objected to Cellcom and Pelephone's plans to jointly build a 4G network, and that the carriers are looking for other ways to cut costs. The paper reported last month Cellcom is getting set to launch a pay-TV service in August.
Jul. 30, 2013, 10:13 AM
- The carrier says its controlling shareholder (IDB Holding) has made it known Cellcom isn't for sale. Globes reported yesterday Golan Telecom is "seriously considering" a bid.
- Cellcom's (CEL -3.4%) Q2 revenue fell to NIS1.22B-1.24B ($342M-$347M) from 1.498B. Service revenue fell to 990M-1.01B from 1.182B.
- In spite of the revenue drops, free cash flow rose to NIS340M-345M from 284M.
- ARPU rose slightly Q/Q to NIS77.5-79.5 from 75.9, but was still down sharply from last year's 90.3, as intense price competition continues taking a toll.
Jul. 29, 2013, 1:26 PM
- Globes reports Israeli mobile carrier Golan is "seriously considering" a proposal to acquire rival Cellcom (CEL +1.9%) from IDB Holding. Sources tell the paper the offer was likely floated by Lazard.
- Any decision by Golan would be made by controlling shareholder Michael Golan and 30% shareholder/French telecom magnate Xavier Niel.
- Speculation has been rife debt-laden IDB would consider selling some of its companies due to its financial issues.
Oct. 15, 2012, 12:18 PM
Israeli carrier Partner Communications (PTNR +4.7%) rallies on news holding firm Scailex is in talks with media magnate Haim Saban about selling its stake in Partner: one report claims Saban will acquire a 35%-40% stake for $400M-$450M through a multi-stage deal. Rival Cellcom (CEL +5.3%) is also higher. (previous)| Oct. 15, 2012, 12:18 PM