Banks pessimistic on feasibility of cable TV merger

Dankner family would hold major stake in Bank Hapoalim, merged cable entity, which has huge debt to bank
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The banking system is pessimistic about the feasibility of presently merging cable TV firms Tevel, Matav Cable Systems (Nasdaq:MATV), and Golden Channels despite regulatory approval for the merger, TheMarker has learned.

The reason for this lies in Bank Hapoalim(TASE: POLI ) ownership structure. Post-merger, the cable company will owe the banks some NIS 1 billion, and the Dankner family will be a major shareholder in both the merged entity, through its curent stake in Matav, and the bank.

Banking sources said Supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal has already informed the bank that he won't allow this.

One way to resolve the hurdle is for the Dankners to sell their interest in the bank which could be mandated anyway as part of Nochi Dankner's acquisition of control in IDB Holdings, which has holdings in Bank Discount.