June 17, 2018 / 7:29 AM / in 5 months

Internet Gold negotiating sale of controlling stake in Bezeq

JERUSALEM, June 17 (Reuters) - Internet Gold-Golden Lines said on Sunday it was in advanced talks to divest most of its shares in B Communications, through which it controls Israel’s largest telecoms group, Bezeq, for as much as 746 million shekels ($206 million).

Internet Gold last week announced it was examining offers to sell some or all of its 64.78 percent stake in BCom, a company with a single asset - a 26.34 percent controlling stake in Bezeq.

Internet Gold said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange there has been “significant progress” in negotiations with a private local buyer, the Neuman Group, over the past four days.

Under the proposed deal, the Neuman Group would buy in stages between 36 to 52 percent of Bcom’s 29.9 million outstanding shares at a price of 46 to 48 shekels ($12.70-$13.25) — a premium to its current share price. In total, the price paid would come to about 497 to 746 million shekels.

Internet Gold is controlled by indebted Israeli holding company Eurocom. Any deal would require regulatory approval.

Bcom shares were up 5 percent at 36.56 shekels in morning trade in Tel Aviv. Shares of Internet Gold were up 3.5 percent. ($1 = 3.6226 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Steven Scheer)

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