Terayon co-founder Rakib in 012 Smile talks

Zaki Rakib plans to enter the mobile market as an MVNO through Smile.

High-tech entrepreneur Zaki Rakib is planning to enter Israel's telecommunications market. Sources inform ''Globes'' that he is among the parties interested in acquiring the Internet services provider (ISP) and international calls carrier businesses of 012 Smile.Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq:SMLC; TASE: SMLC) from Shaul Elovitch, and that initial contact has been made on the subject.

Rakib plans to set up a communications group that will buy Smile's businesses and will also enter the cellular market as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). The sources added that Rakib had expressed an interest in acquiring Mirs Communications Ltd., although it is not clear if he actually submitted a bid to Motorola Inc. (NYSE: CEO) for the mobile provider, or only reached the feeler stage.

Rakib made a previous attempt to enter Israel's telecommunications market by trying to acquire Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) several years ago, but backed off at the high asking price of Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. (NYSE: HTX; HKSE: 2332), Partner's controlling shareholder at the time.

Rakib made his approach for Smile through Adv. David Hodak.

Rakib made his fortune in high tech. He is best remembered for co-founding Terayon Systems Inc., which developed broadband gateways for the home, with his brother, Shlomo. The company was sold to Motorola for $140 million. In 2007, Rakib invested in fabless semiconductor start-up Novofora, which tried to develop chipsets for video processing.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 12, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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