February 6, 2018 / 4:33 PM / 17 days ago

Elliott recommends steps for Bezeq to take in reforming board

TEL AVIV, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Activist investor Elliott on Tuesday welcomed Bezeq Israel Telecom’s commitment to reforming corporate governance and outlined its recommendations for selecting independent directors to its board.

Last week the acting chairman of Bezeq, David Granot, said he expected changes in the composition of Bezeq’s board in the wake of a call by Elliott for reform at Israel’s largest telecoms group.

The Israel Securities Authority is investigating Bezeq, focusing on allegations that former chairman Shaul Elovitch had meddled in the merger in 2015 between Bezeq and its satellite TV unit YES for personal financial gain. Elovitch, who owns the Eurocom Group that controls Bezeq, has denied any wrongdoing.

Elliott on Jan. 16 disclosed it held 4.8 percent of Bezeq and called for the resignation of all its directors implicated in the investigation and those affiliated with Eurocom.

In Tuesday’s letter to Granot, Elliott recommended Bezeq’s board appoint a recognised, international executive search firm and commit to consulting with shareholders before naming new directors.

“It has been particularly encouraging to see major Israeli investors calling for a transparent process to bring about reform of the company’s corporate governance,” the letter said.

“We urge you to build on this momentum and to seize the opportunity to drive real, lasting change at Bezeq.” (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer)

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