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Scailex Gains, Saban-Partner Deal Seen Completed: Tel Aviv Mover

Scailex Corp., which is selling a stake in Partner Communications Co. to Saban Capital Group. Inc., gained the most in more than a month as a Saban official said the deal would be completed today.

The shares advanced 13 percent, the biggest gain since Dec. 19, to 5.7 shekels, in 1.6 times the three-month average volume at the close in Tel Aviv. Partner shares advanced 0.6 percent to 20.44 shekels as the TA-25 benchmark index declined 0.5 percent.

“The Partner sale will be completed today,” Moshe Debby, a spokesman for Saban Capital in Israel said today by phone from Tel Aviv.

Scailex, which held 44.54 percent of Partner, agreed to sell a 30.73 percent stake in the company to an Israeli unit of Saban, according to a filing to the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange on Nov. 30. Saban will pay 250 million shekels ($65.5 million) in cash and assume a $300 million debt Scailex owes to Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. The Asian holding company abandoned plans in August to become a Partner stakeholder.

“The deal will inject much needed cash into Scailex and will in the short- to medium-term ease liquidity concerns,” Ori Licht, head of research at I.B.I-Israel Brokerage & Investments in Tel Aviv, said today by phone.

Standard & Poor’s Maalot said in an Oct. 22 report “there’s a risk” that Scailex won’t meet its near-term debt commitments, reiterating its ilCC rating on the company, the second-worst junk rating.

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