cellcom logo 88.
(photo credit: )
Cellcom paid out a NIS 1.7 billion dividend which its parent company, Discount Investment Corporation Ltd., said would help it pay back over half the loan it took to buy the cellular provider.
Discount, which is controlled by Nochi Dankner's IDB Group, took a $600 million loan in September to help finance its $1.3 billion acquisition of an additional 69.5% of Cellcom, which boosted its stake in the company to 94.5%.
Discount said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that the dividend would enable it to pay back $330m. (the equivalent of NIS 1.52b.) of the loan. Discount is looking for partners to bring in as minority shareholders in Cellcom.
Last month, Cellcom raised NIS 1.6b. in a bond offering to institutional investors, receiving a AA- rating for the bonds from Ma'alot Israel Securities Ratings Ltd.
Cellcom is expected to emerge as the main competitor to Bezeq and is expected to receive a license from the Communications Ministry this year to market fixed line telephony service via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Discount also has majority shares in Internet provider Netvision and business communications provider Globcall.
Shares of Discount rose 3.9% to NIS 111 on Sunday.