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Saban-Shamrock group drops Bezeq bid

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Saban-Shamrock group drops Bezeq bid
    Courtesy of Jerusalem Post
    November 17, 2002

    Saban Capital Group and Shamrock Holdings Ltd. are dropping their joint bid for the controlling share of Bezeq, they told the Government Companies Authority Monday.

    They issued a one-line statement to the press: “Shamrock Holdings and Saban Capital Group have advised the government that at this stage they will not pursue the Bezeq privatization process.”

    They did not provide an explanation, but a source said “the main reason is that a long time has already passed since they requested to join the tender.”

    Saban-Shamrock’s reversal comes after they had already forced the state to bend the rules to allow them to participate. In July, the group asked for permission to submit a tender six months after the deadline for the tender had passed. Shamrock, which controls 50 percent of Bezeq’s cellphone subsidiary Pelephone, also signed a letter promising not to participate in the Bezeq tender when it bought in two years ago.

    Despite these issues, the state said it would accept the tender on condition that it loosen its grip on Pelephone, citing specific demands for relinquishing control. The group decided to avoid of the conditions and drop its bid.

    The decision leaves only Polar Communications, the Eurocom group, and the Kaul-Rosenne group, vying for a share of Bezeq.

    Apax Partners and Israel Corporation dropped out of the tender two weeks ago, and Africa-Israel Investments also withdrew its bid.

    Shamrock Holdings is the investment arm of Roy Disney. Saban Capital is owned by Israeli-born billionaire Haim Saban, the former owner of the Fox Family Channel and the creator of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers children’s series.

    Saban expressed interest earlier this year in bankrupt German media giant KirchMedia GmbH and was said to be in talks to buy Jim Henson Co., the maker of the Muppets, from Germany’s EM.TV & Merchandising AG. Neither has come to fruition.


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