February 10, 2019 / 1:56 PM / 5 months ago

Searchlight Capital offers up to $133 million for control in Bezeq Tel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners has offered up to 485 million shekels ($133.3 million) for a controlling stake in the parent of Bezeq Israel Telecom, according to a regulatory filing.

Internet Gold has been searching for a buyer for its majority stake in B Communications since mid-2018 under pressure from bondholders. BCom’s single asset is a 26.34 percent controlling stake in Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms group.

Internet Gold said on Sunday it received an offer from Searchlight to buy its 19.4 million BCom shares for 17 shekels each to be paid at the closing plus up to another 8 shekels a share contingent on meeting certain targets.

Searchlight also offered a second option of 17.5 shekels a share with no further conditions.

BCom was down 1.9 percent at 16.35 shekels in afternoon trading.

Searchlight will enter a seven-day negotiation period on Feb. 14. Internet Gold said the proposal has not yet been examined by its board of directors and expects the plan to be discussed at Thursday’s bondholders’ meeting.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen

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