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ECI Shareholders Approve Buyout

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
8/29/2007

In a meeting held today, ECI Telecom Ltd. shareholders voted in favor of a $1.2 billion private-equity buyout. (See ECI Approves Buyout and ECI Calls EGM.)

A company spokesperson wouldn't comment on the exact outcome of the voting but said the buyout was approved by a "substantial number" of shareholders. For the merger to be approved, 75 percent of shares needed to vote "yes."

Shareholders also voted in favor of a proposal that would pay a special bonus of $1.05 million to ECI Chairman Schlomo Dvorat, or to an entity designated by him.

The vote marked one of ECI's final steps in the move toward going private. The company said it expects to go private in the fall, after a 30-day statutory waiting period following shareholder approval, the receipt of certain regulatory approvals, and the satisfaction of other conditions set forth in the shareholder agreement.

In July ECI agreed to be bought out by Shaul Shani's Swarth Investments LLC and other funds that had appointed Ashmore Investment Management as their investment manager. Under the agreement, shareholders will receive $10 per share of ECI stock. (See ECI Bought Out in $1.2B Deal, ECI Announces Buyout, and ECI in $1.2B Takeover Talks.)

The deal was backed by the company's board of directors, as well as a group of shareholders accounting for 44 percent of ECI shares.

That included affirmative votes coming from the 41 percent of shares owned by Koor Industries Ltd. and Clal Industries and Investments Ltd. , both of which are controlled by IDB Group .

The company also had the approval of an additional 3 percent held by Carmel Ventures, where ECI Chairman Schlomo Dvorat is a founder and general partner.

ECI shares rose slightly on the approval. In early morning trading, shares were up $0.02 (0.22%) to $9.21.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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