012 Smile Communications said on Thursday it has signed an NIS 3.9 billion ($1.04 billion) financing agreement to fund the acquisition of a controlling stake in Bezeq Israel Telecom.
The financing will be provided by a consortium led by Bank Hapoalim and expected to include Bank Leumi, Amitim (Senior Pension Funds), Israel Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, HSBC, First International Bank of Israel and Union Bank. Hapoalim will be manager of the loan.
In addition, Bank Hapoalim will provide 012 Smile with a short-term loan of NIS 700 million.
012 Smile, which offers internet and domestic and long-distance calling services, in October agreed to buy a 30.7% stake in Bezeq for NIS 6.5 billion.
It will become a telecoms holding company after the expected completion in April. 012 Smile is controlled by businessman Shaul Elovitch through Eurocom Communications.
Bezeq is Israel's largest telecoms group with a 39% market share.