Partner expands Orange agreement with France Telecom

Ilan Ben-Dov has renewed the previous owner's strategic agreement with Orange brand owner France Telecom.

Mobile carrier Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) has expanded its license agreement with France Telecom SA (Euronext; NYSE: FTE) unit Orange Brand Services Ltd.

Partner's previous controlling shareholder, Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. (NYSE: HTX; HKSE: 2332) was a strategic partner of France Telecom, which gave Partner access to information and transactions at preferred prices. Current controlling shareholder, Ilan Ben-Dov has made a similar deal with France Telecom.

France Telecom and Partner agreed on the royalties that Partner will pay for use of the Orange brand. The companies also agreed on wider cooperation, which will allow Partner to buy end-user equipment via France Telecom and to seek France Telecom's help for the mobile and landline services. Partner considers the agreement as turning France Telecom into its strategic partner.

Partner will reportedly pay NIS 25 million in royalties per year for use of the Orange brand, based on a agreed-upon formula of a percentage of revenue.

Partner said that France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom AG (DAX: DTE) recently agreed to jointly buy end-user equipment, and that Partner can join the collaboration to buy equipment at similar prices. France Telecom is also a leading global IPTV services provider, and has R&D operations in this field in Israel. Partner, which plans to provide IPTV services, can collaborate with France Telecom in this.

Partner's share price rose 2.1% on Nasdaq on Friday to $19.35, giving a market cap of $3.01 billion, and rose 3% by early afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 64.38.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 1, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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