Gov't to approve Bezeq sale Sunday

Following the sale, buyers will have option to acquire another 10.66% of Bezeq's stock from government.

The government is expected to approve the sale of the state's 30 percent controlling stake in Bezeq to the Apax-Saban-Arkin consortium for NIS 4.237 billion on Sunday, paving the way for the ceremony marking the privatization, to be attended by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, within a week or two, Finance Ministry sources said Thursday. Following the sale, the buyers will have the option to acquire another 10.66% of Bezeq's stock from the government, leaving the state with a 1.01% stake. Separately, the Antitrust Tribunal struck down appeals filed by Bezeq and DBS Satellite Services Ltd. (YES) against the decision by Antitrust Commissioner Dror Strum to limit Bezeq's ability to inject funds into DBS for nine months following their merger, Bezeq said Thursday. The nine-month period will come to an end on October 2, the company said. A second condition prohibited the transfer of information from Bezeq to DBS, yet Strum clarified that this does not apply to transfers of information between Bezeq subsidiaries and DBS. Petitions to the High Court of Justice regarding limitations imposed by Communications Minister Dalia Itzik on the injection of Bezeq funds into DBS filed by Bezeq and DBS are still pending. Also pending is an appeal submitted by the cable TV companies to the Antitrust Tribunal against the conditions Strum had placed on the merger between Bezeq and DBS.