Over the past five years, communications giant Bezeq has entered the real estate business – successfully selling 79 properties it received for free from the state, for a total of NIS 867 million, a report in Calcalist said.
Bezeq received the properties 13 years ago, after the state sold its interest in the company to private investors. The land was used for telephone infrastructure, such as switching stations, with much of it located in high-priced real estate areas of the center of the country.
The government sold its stake in Bezeq in 1998 to private investors, and in 2003 granted the company ownership of the real estate on which the facilities sit. Since then, however, the telephony landscape has changed dramatically, and the company has no need for the facilities – nor for the land on which they sit.
As a result, the company has been selling off the real estate little by little, Calcalist said. As of the end of 2015, the company had 340 parcels, many of them in strategic areas where developers are desperately seeking room to build. Among them is a large parcel at the Messubim Junction outside Tel Aviv, valued at over NIS 450 million.