Internet Gold Soars on Microsoft Deal

The two companies are starting a new Hebrew language portal.
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Shares in Internet Gold (IGLD) - Get Report, Israel's top Internet service provider, rocketed Tuesday after the company announced it has struck a deal with Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report to start a new Hebrew language portal called MSN Israel.

Internet Gold was up a whopping 106%, or 15, to 29 1/4. Microsoft was down 7/8, or 1%, to 118 3/8. (Internet Gold finished up 14 13/16, or 105%, to 28 1/8, while Microsoft ended down 1 3/4, or 1%, to 117 1/2.)

Under the terms of the agreement, Internet Gold will hold 50.1% and Microsoft 49.9% of the new company. Internet Gold said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft and that the two companies are working on a definitive agreement.

Microsoft will provide the technology and distribution right to the MSN brand, the companies said.

MSN Israel, which is scheduled to be up and running by January, will offer all Hebrew reading Web users most of Microsoft's Internet services. The portal will integrate the existing Internet Gold portals and many other Israeli Web portals, the companies said.

"Based on MSN's leading position in the Global content market and our leading market position I expect that MSN Israel will be the most significant player in our content market,'' said Internet Gold's CEO, Eli Holtzman.