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Scailex Submits Bid to Buy Israel's Partner Communications

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Israeli handset distributor, Scailex Corp. has made a binding offer to buy a majority stake in local mobile network operator, Partner. The 51% stake is currently owned by Hutchison Telecommunications who have previously said they are looking to sell the company.

Partner, which has a marketing license to trade under the Orange brandname, has a stock market valuation of around USD2.7 billion.

In a statement to the Securities Authority, Scailex said "The Company emphasizes that it does not know under what timetables the sale proceeding shall continue, and that there is no certainty that the seller of the controlling stake will decide to open negotiations with the Company, that it will reach agreements with the seller in relation to the terms of the transaction, or that the Company shall acquire the control as stated above."

Partner  recently reported that its first quarter revenues dropped by nearly 11% to reach NIS 1.4 billion (USD337 million), although the net income was steady at NIS 296 million (USD71 million). The subscriber base gained 5,000 net new customers to reach 2.903 million, including 1.021 million 3G subscribers. Total market share at the end of the quarter is estimated to be approximately 31.4% (unchanged from Q4 2008).

In order to finance the acquisition, the company says that it is in talks with unnamed 3rd parties, who would take a stake in the company in exchange for the cash investment. Suny Electronics, under the control of Mr. Ilan Ben-Dov, is expected to retain the control over the Company.

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Tags: scailex  partner  orange  base  hutchison telecommunications  Israel