Ampal-American Israel Corp. (NASDAQ:AMPL) jumped Wednesday after announcing the sale of its 012 Smile Telecom subsidiary to Israel’s second-largest mobile phone operator Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) for $412 million.
Partner is purchasing all outstanding shares of the Merhav-Ampal Energy subsidiary for 692 million New Israeli Shekels, or $191 million, of which approximately NIS 42 million, or $11.6 million, are to be paid by a third party.
As part of the transaction, the wireless company will also assume NIS 800 million, or $221.6 million, of long-term debt.
012 is a provider of international and local telecommunication and Internet services.
Ampal CEO Yosef A. Maiman called 012 one of the “major pillars” of the Israeli telecommunication market with a business that provides “steady cash flow” and growth opportunities.
Ampal expects to report a pre-tax gain from the sale of 310.2 million NIS, or approximately $85.7 million.
The proceeds will allow Ampal to continue its growth in the chemical and energy sectors and its explorations in other possible investment areas.
Partner CEO Yacov Gelbard said the acquisition will assist the company as its transforms into a comprehensive communications group, allowing it to focus on its core cellular business.
“We are convinced that this transaction will increase competition in the market for the benefit of the consumers, in accordance with the Ministry of Communications’ vision to create a number of strong competition telecommunications groups,” he said.
The deal, subject to customary closing conditions and Israeli regulatory approvals, is expected to close within two to three months.