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Foreign investors can bid for Bezeq acquisition independently

Prior demand for incorporation with Israeli firms is removed

Communication Minister Reuven Rivlin today submitted an amendment to the sale procedure for state holdings in Bezeq to the ministerial privatization committee.

The sale procedure originally stipulates that on the date a price offer for Bezeq shares is filed, 20% of shares of the organization filing the offer must be held by an Israeli concern.

The amendment passed today determines this condition does not have to exist prior to the request to buy, but must be met on the date the sale agreement is signed.

The decision makes it a lot easier for foreign investors to take part in early stage bidding for ownership in Bezeq, a stage in which potential participants must officially announce their intentions.

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The original sale procedure directive of the Government Companies Authority was intended to thwart the participation of numerous foreign investors since it obliged them to join forces in Israel and to hook up with Israeli partners even before deciding on any purchase.

The minister realized the demand was not reasonable, and that it deterred any potential investors from preliminary stage bidding.

The correction was supported by PM Ariel Sharon, the chairman of the privatization committee, Finance Minister Silvan Shalom, Internal Affairs Minister Eliyahu Yishay and the Minister of Industry and Trade Dalia Itzik.