On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a merger between two media giants, Bezeq is to take full control of satellite TV operator, Yes. After determining it would not harm competition in the multi-channel TV market, Israel’s antitrust commissioner gave its permission for Bezeq to merge with Yes last year.
Acting as Communications Minister, Netanyahu’s approval came after Israel’s cable and satellite TV council said there was no reason to reject the deal, the Communications Ministry said.
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Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder in Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms group, said he would buy the remaining 50.2% of Yes from Eurocom, a closely held company controlled by him and Yosef Elovitch.
Bezeq’s merge with Yes will offer customers a combined TV, phone, and Internet service, an offer that its rival cable company, HOT, owned by Patrik Dehri’s cable group, Altice, already does.
Under the terms of the deal, Bezeq will buy Eurocom’s stake in Yes (50.2% before dilution) for ₪680 million (about $179 million) in cash, and will receive all of the ₪1.54 billion owner’s loan that Eurocom granted to Yes. In addition, Eurocom will be entitled to other contingent payments: one of ₪200 million paid according to the tax synergy, and one of ₪170 million paid according to Yes’ business results over the next three years. Depending on the sequence of events, the total payment could reach ₪1.05 billion (about $405 million).