More Gilat Rumors

Back in August, we reported on the rumor that Hughes was looking to buy Gilat. That rumor (not necessarily our reporting on it) sent Gilat’s stock climbing sharply, from the $8.50 range then to just over $11 per share now.

That deal never happened, but rumors of new suitors are again making the rounds. As Aaron Katsman writes: 

Last weekend’s FT article about Gilat Satellite Networks (GILT), and potential suitors has received a lot of attention over the last few days. The article said that the company could fetch upwards of $500 million in a deal. That puts it about 15% above it’s current market value. I would expect a deal to get done, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for even more than the predicted $500 million.

Gilat’s business is doing well. Its revenues for Q2 ‘07 were at a 5-year high, and its net income grew strongly. It also continues to sign both extensions, and new deals. On Wednesday, it signed an expansion deal with Russian telecommunications provider North-West Telecom (NWTEY.PK). North-West Telecom is expanding its Gilat SkyEdge satellite network to bring telephony, and broadband Internet services to a growing number of remote communities in northwest Russia. The network expansion will serve many more sites in the Murmansk, Karelia, Komi and Vologda regions. Heck, if can do a deal in Kamchatka, it would win in RISK. 

Globes Online reports that William Blair believes Apollo or ViaSat are the likeliest buyers of Gilat, and notes that Mivtach Shamir Holdings Ltd. (TASE:MISH) offered to buy Gilat at $10 per share in the first quarter, but that this was a price that Gilat "deemed too low, but management left open the possibility of being acquired if it found the ‘right opportunity’."

We’ll let you know when and if Gilat finds a suitor (and a price) to its liking.