Mati Kochavi joins race to buy Bezeq

Mati Kochavi

The banks are also considering an auction for selling off Eurocom's assets.

The banks are scheduled to discuss Naty Saidoff's improved bid to acquire Eurocom this week. At the same time, the parties involved in the negotiations are saying that there is little chance that a deal will be signed within a few days. The banks are continuing their consideration of various ways of handling the Eurocom group's NIS 1.5 billion debt, whether by selling Eurocom as a single unit, as Saidoff is proposing, or through separate handling of its various assets. Another real option is conducting a regular auction in order to select the best bid.

There are other parties that have considered, and are still considering, the acquisition of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ). Sources inform "Globes" that these parties include high-tech businessperson Mati Kochavi, who founded the AGT group. The group specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, provides smart city and infrastructure solutions, and works in other industries, such as medicine and sports. Kochavi was also the owner of the Logic security company, which closed down in 2005, with some of its activities being taken over by AGT.

Kochavi, who is believed to be especially wealthy, has made a serious and thorough assessment of the acquisition of control in Bezeq. At the same time, as far as is known, he has stopped pushing for the deal.

Capital market sources say that the sale of Eurocom is a deal with interesting potential of acquiring control and influence over a large communications group for the relatively small sum of NIS 300-400 million. Such a deal, however, in which the entire pyramid of Eurocom is acquired, means that it will take time before the new controlling shareholder can make a profit, and a profit will depend on a continued stream of dividends at the top of the pyramid - Bezeq. Shaul Elovitch, whose dividend policy in Bezeq was very aggressive, with over NIS 18 billion in dividends being distributed over seven years, has derived almost no benefit to this day, because all the dividends have been stuck high in the pyramid. Furthermore, it is by no means certain that Bezeq will be able to continue distributing such an aggressive dividend as it has in recent years.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on December 31, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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