January 16, 2019 / 9:17 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Internet Gold fails to get binding offers for BCom stake

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JERUSALEM, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Internet Gold-Golden Lines's latest attempt to sell its holdings in the parent company of Bezeq Israel Telecom has failed.

It received no binding offers for its holdings in B Communications, which controls Bezeq, Israel's largest telecoms group, in an auction that ended on Tuesday, it said in a U.S. regulatory filing.

Internet Gold is controlled by indebted Israeli holding company Eurocom and has been searching for a buyer for its BCom stake since mid-2018 under heavy pressure from bondholders.

"The company's board continues to explore the possibility of selling its BCom shares, continues with discussions with the potential bidders, and continues to explore possibilities for strengthening the company's capital structure," Internet Gold said. "The company has sufficient reserves to service its debt in 2019."

It said the auction was impacted by recent declines in share prices of both BCom and Bezeq amid a lower dividend payout, the sale of Bezeq shares by foreign investors and a credit rating downgrade of BCom.

Bezeq has undergone a reorganisation in recent months following a securities investigation into its management and owners that forced out its former chairman and chief executive.

Internet Gold in June said it was examining offers to sell some or all of its 64.78 percent stake in BCom, a company with a single asset -- a 26.34 percent controlling stake in Bezeq.

Shares of Internet Gold were down 16 percent in morning trading in Tel Aviv while BCom's shares were 13 percent lower.

Bezeq's shares, which are 12 percent lower so far this year after a 30 percent fall in 2018, were down 1.7 percent on Wednesday. (Reporting by Steven Scheer and Tova Cohen Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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