Hutchison Whampoa's Israeli joint-venture mobile telephone network, Partner Communications, has raised US$525 million through an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stock Market and in London. The company sold 38.88 million shares, or a 21.74 per cent stake, at $13.50 each. The price was at the high end of a $11 to $14 range the company targeted. Allocation was being completed yesterday and the share will start trading in New York on Monday. The company has the option to exercise a greenshoe of 5.83 million shares, which, if exercised, will raise an additional $78.74 million. The proceeds from the share sale will be used to reduce $650 million in bank loans and fund further expansion of Partner's network. Hutchison also should receive some of the proceeds as Partner would repay some of the loans from its shareholders, according to sources. The share offer was 'substantially oversubscribed', the sources said. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Warburg Dillon Read were joint book-runners for the share offering. Assuming no greenshoe, Hutchison will own about 35 per cent of the company, making it the largest shareholder. Partner is Israel's third-largest mobile telephone company, with more than 200,000 subscribers. The operator has said it expects to have 400,000 subscribers by the end of December. It is branded under the Orange name through a licence agreement, but was not included in Mannesmann's GBP8.75 billion (about HK$112.33 billion) acquisition last week of the listed European arm of Orange. Hutchison's sale of its 44.81 per cent stake in Orange to the German engineering conglomerate was one of the biggest acquisitions in the industry. The listing of Partner follows a model Hutchison has used before to make its mobile telephone networks in different countries self-supporting through equity financing. 'It is part of their model in bringing their telecoms investments to the market so that they can raise capital on their own without putting pressure on Hutchison's own balance sheet,' said ABN Amro analyst Eddie Lau Kwok-lap.