Digal Investment and Holdings Ltd. (TASE: DIGL) bondholders have withdrawn their support from Palestinian American businessman Bashar Al-Masri in favor of Jerusalem supermarket owner Rami Levy and his partner, which sources inform "Globes" is Australian Jewish businessman Kevin Bermeister, who will buy the company's Nof Zion residential project in eastern Jerusalem.
The struggle for control of Nof Zion opened in December, when "Globes" revealed that Al-Masri was the client of Adv. Dov Weissglass, who bought the project. Digal's bondholders accepted his offer to pay NIS 0.60 per NIS 1 nominal value per bond. The news infuriated Israel's national and religious sector, leading to protests and counter bids. Rami Levy and Bermeister, who founded the file sharing program KAZAA, have now successfully blocked Al-Masri.
Financially troubled Digal was unable to repay its bondholders and Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI)
Nof Zion is located near the Armon Hanatziv Promenade, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Arab village of Jebel Mukhbar. Digal began construction of the project ten years ago, but has only built 91 of the planned 395 apartments.
During the battle for control, 20% of Digal's bonds changed hands, and their price rose almost six-fold to NIS 0.61.
Rami Levy is chairman of Rami Levi Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (TASE:RMLI), and a member of the Jerusalem City Council from Mayor Nir Barkat's Jerusalem Will Succeed party. He also develops many real estate interests in the city and its environs, including a stake in the Holyland residential project.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 11, 2011
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