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Altice’s Hot Telecoms breaks off Partner talks

Altice Europe’s Israeli business Hot Telecoms has officially ended talks with Partner Communications over a potential merger. 

In a succinct statement, Altice said: “Altice Europe has taken note of recent market speculation regarding Hot Telecommunication Systems and Partner Communications. Altice Europe confirms that its fully owned subsidiary Hot has terminated discussions regarding the potential acquisition of Partner Communications.”

News of discussions first emerged in late January, with Hot confirming that it was seeking an acquisition of Partner, one of Israel’s largest mobile operators.

However, multiple reports said that Altice’s unwillingness to provide certain financial guarantees – combined with the financial uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic – was behind the operator’s decision to ditch the deal.

Altice was also said to be unwilling to agree to a termination fee should the deal have collapsed.

Partner announced its Q4 results last week and warned of a “material harmful effect on our results of operations and financial position for 2020” as a result of the pandemic.

Though the Israeli market is growing increasingly crowded, the country’s Ministry of Communications is reportedly only looking to approve one merger. Cellcom’s talks to acquire Golan was announced shortly after, in a reported attempt to destabilise a Hot-Partner deal.

Given the current financial instability, it would be unsurprising should that deal also fall through.