Scailex of Petach Tikvah has bought a majority stake in Israel's Partner Communications from Hutchison Telecommunications International, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. Scailex will pay $1.4 billion for the controlling shares.
Partner, which owns the Orange cellphone brand, began its operation in Israel in 1999 and by 2006 the Orange network had 2.7 million users. Today it is Israel’s second largest cellphone operator after Cellcom.
The investment firm owned by Israeli entrepreneur Ilan Ben-Dov will buy 78.9 million Hutchison shares for NIS 67 each. Partner's shares rose 2.4% to NIS 68.60 at the close in Tel Aviv trading Wednesday.