HTIL in talks to sell share in Israeli cellco

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Jul 2009

Hutchison Telecommunications International (HTIL) is in talks to sell its controlling stake in Israeli operator Partner Communications.

HTIL has been "approached by various interested parties" regarding the sale, the company announced, and has requested they provide a non-binding indication of interest.

But the company stressed that no agreement has been entered into, and a sale will not necessarily result.

Partner licenses the Orange brand in Israel. The company has a market share of around 31%, and more than 2.9 million subscribers. The company posted a profit of $71 million in Q1, and its stock currently trades at $17.01.

Partner is also the only profitable unit in HTIL's stable, which also includes operators in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand, the Financial Timessaid. Its 3G units ran at an operating loss of $1.4 billion in 2008, while net profit declined 42%.

HTIL sold its Indian 3G unit, Hutchison Essar, to Vodafone for $10.9 billion in 2007.

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