October 1, 2009 / 3:35 PM / 10 years ago

Partner, Cellcom drop bid to buy Motorola's MIRS stake

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Cellcom (CEL.N) and Partner Communications (PTNR.O), Israel’s two largest mobile phone operators, have dropped out of the running to buy MIRS Communications Ltd from Motorola’s MOT.N Israeli subsidiary.

MIRS is a cellular phone operator that uses the iDEN technology and whose market share is estimated at 4 to 5 percent.

“Partner ... announces that its offer for the acquisition of 100 percent of the issued and outstanding share capital of MIRS and/or MIRS operations from Motorola Israel will not be proceeding and discussions have been terminated,” it said in a statement.

Partner (PTNR.TA), Israel’s second largest mobile phone operator, did not provide details.

Cellcom (CEL.TA), the largest, also opted not to bid for MIRS, parent company Discount Investment Corp (DISI.TA) said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Israeli media said that Bezeq’s (BEZQ.TA) mobile phone unit Pelephone, cable company HOT HOT.TA and telecoms and Internet provider 012 Smile Communications SMLC.O SMLC.TA remained in the running.

Financial website Globes said Motorola wanted to continue the bidding process only with companies it believed would have little trouble making the deal.

Cellcom, Partner and Pelehone each have market shares of at least 30 percent.

In June, Israeli media reported that Shamrock Holdings, the investment arm of Roy Disney, was in talks to buy MIRS at a company value of $300 million.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by David Cowell

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