Orange franchisee Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) owner Haim Saban has hit back after Orange CEO and chairman Stephane Richard threatened to adhere to the boycott of Israel.
Saban said, "I'm proud to hold the controlling stake in Partner, which is an Israeli owned company that leases the Orange brand. Threats won't deter me and I will continue to work on behalf of Israel and lead the global struggle in support of Israel."
Speaking at a press conference in Cairo Richard told journalists, “Our intention is to withdraw from Israel. It will take time but for sure we will do it. Believe me I would cancel the contract tomorrow if I could." He added, "but without exposing Orange to huge risks."
The French government owns 25% of Partner and it is under pressure to pull out of its Israeli activities because Partner operates in the West Bank.
Partner outgoing CEO Haim Romano said, "We regret the words. Partner has held the Orange franchise since 1998 when it was under the ownership of Hong Kong's Hutchison group. Partner will continue to loyally serve its customers in Israel without discrimination or prejudice."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 4, 2015
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