French businessman Patrick Drahi, who has progressively built a significant stake in the Israeli cablenet HOT intends to merge the business with the mobile operator MIRS.
According to Haaretz, Drahi will soon complete a $170 million (€128m) purchase of Israel’s fourth largest mobile telephony company. He will then merge MIRS with HOT, where he currently holds a 45% stake.
Drahi, the founder of Altice, the key investor in the French cablenet Numericable, made his first investment in HOT in May 2009.
The acquisition of MIRS would enable Drahi’s companies to compete directly with Bezeq on four levels; television, telephony, mobile and internet.
Assuming the ministry of communications and anti-trust authority give their permission, HOT would take ownership of MIRS, solving problems caused by Drahli’s non-residency in Israel.
HOT currently has a market value of NIS 3.2 billion.