The Israeli cable operator HOT may be about to see a change in ownership.
According to Haaretz, the French businessman Patrick Drahi plans to increase his stake in the company from the current 44.75% to a maximum of 66% by striking deals with the minority shareholders Eliezer Fishman and Aron Mozes.
The former is set to sell a 6% stake in HOT to Drahi for no less than NIS54.50 (€10.8) per share, leaving him with 6.6% of the company’s shares.
The deal will be done through Drahi’s Cool Holding, which also has an option to buy 13.5% of HOT currently held by Yedioth Communications, which is owned by Mozes. In this instance, the shares would each be priced at NIS65.
Assuming the deal is concluded – a two-month timeframe is envisaged for both – Mozes will be left with a 3.6% stake in HOT. Drahi will have to pay up to NIS900 million in total for raising his stake to 66%, while Fishman and Mozes would earn some NIS250 million and NIS650 million respectively.
Significantly, by reducing his stake in HOT to 3.6%, Mozes will be able to free himself from regulatory constraints as he tries to increase his involvement in the Israeli commercial TV marketplace.