Saban completes Partner acquisition

This was big news for Scailex's shareholders, because the sale greatly improves the company's financial shape and its ability to repay its bonds.

S.B. Israel Telecom Ltd., an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, Inc., announced today that it had closed its acquisition of the controlling interest in Orange franchisee Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) from Scailex Corporation (TASE: SCIX; Pink Sheets:SCIXF) The transaction includes the assumption of debt owed by Scailex to Advent Investments Pte Ltd., a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (HKEX: 13).

The news was received with indifference by Partner's shareholders, but it was real news for Scailex's shareholders, because the sale greatly improves the company's financial shape and its ability to repay its bonds, which total NIS 1.5 billion.

Saban Capital Group chairman and CEO Haim Saban said, “We have great confidence in the Israeli economy and we are very impressed with the quality of management, entrepreneurial spirit and strength of the local economy. I have no doubt that, together with Partner management, we can lead the company to great achievements in all areas of its operations.”

Saban Capital Group president and COO Adam Chesnoff said, "We are excited about our investment in Partner and to be re-entering the Israeli market. We would also like to convey our appreciation to Partner's dedicated employees and the excellent management team headed by CEO Haim Romano. Together, we will strengthen the company for the benefit of its employees, customers and stakeholders.”

Between 2005 and 2010, Saban Capital Group and its partners were investors in Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) Between 2005 and 2008, Saban Capital Group was an investor in Keshet Broadcasting Ltd., a leading media brand and television station in Israel.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 29, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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