Pelephone Eyes YouPhone Purchase

Price said to be between NIS 10-15 million for the virtual phone operator.

Tomer Appelbaum

Pelephone, the mobile telephony unit of Bezeq, is reportedly in talks to buy the virtual phone operator YouPhone, for a price that sources said would probably be between 10 million and 15 million shekels ($2.6-3.9 million).

YouPhone, which is controlled by the Alon Blue Square Group, is a tiny provider with 80,000 subscribers, which piggybacks on Pelephone’s network. Because it is such a small player in the market, Pelephone is likely to get antitrust approval for the acquisition.

Alon Blue Square launched YouPhone with the hope of gaining a competitive advantage by marketing it through its retail units, led by the Mega supermarket chain. But Mega is losing money and the group has been restructuring in recent months, also due to management upheavals.

Pelephone and YouPhone declined to comment on the report.