Partner deal to be signed this week - Israel Business, Ynetnews

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Haim Saban Photo: Avi Waldman
Haim Saban Photo: Avi Waldman
Ilan Ben-Dov Photo: Moti Kimchi
Ilan Ben-Dov Photo: Moti Kimchi

Partner deal to be signed this week

Haim Saban to shoulder Scailex's $300M debt to Hutchison, another $130 million in debt to Ilan Ben-Dov

Golan Hazani, Calcalist
Published: 11.26.12, 09:00 / Israel Business

The sale of Partner Communications to Haim Saban is expected to be signed this week, Calcalist has learned. Saban and Hutchison are close to an understanding, under the terms of which Saban will shoulder Scailex's $300 million debt to the multinational telecommunications giant. Scailex holds Partner Communications.


Saban will also pay Ilan Ben-Dov's $130 million debt to Scailex in return for a 35% stake in the Israeli mobile operator.


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The deal reflects a $1.2 billion value for Partner, which is traded on a $970 million market cap.


Saban Capital Group CEO Adam Chesnoff is currently in Hong King, where he is holding talks with Hutchison's Managing Director Canning Fok.


Under the terms of the understandings, Hutchison will shave only several percent off the $300 million debt and will reschedule the debt over a period of five to six years.


For Saban the deal is worthwhile because he gets to take over Partner Communications for $130 million in cash and pay the balance in installments.


Under the current terms, the financing, which Saban was unable to obtain from Israeli banks, will come from Hutchison.


Estimates are that Saban will also acquire at least a portion of Leumi Partners bank shares (5%) in Partner.


Once the deal is signed, Ben-Dov will remain with a 14% of Partner's shares pledged to the company's bondholders, and will sign a joint control agreement with Saban.


Hutchison will continue holding a lien on 12% of Partner's shares, which will be transferred to Saban until the debt is repaid in full. Additionally, Ben-Dov will be handed Samsung's activity, which is currently handled by Scailex.


The impending deal is likely what drove Scailex shares to soar 66% over the last two days of trading.


This report was originally published in Hebrew by Calcalist




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