Sources inform ''Globes'' that Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) controlling shareholder Idan Ofer plans to move to London. His spokesman said in response, "Idan Ofer is a global businessman, and, as such, he spends a substantial part of his time outside Israel."
Sources close to Ofer said that his son is about to complete his military service in the IDF, and will go to university overseas, and that this may be the reason for Idan Ofer's decision.
However, business world sources believe that Ofer is moving to London for tax reasons. The number of rich immigrants to the UK, especially from Russia and China, has soared in recent years. London attracts billionaires because of its standing as a global financial center, stable real estate market, good private schools, and the many legal tax planning options.
Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL) chairman Lev Leviev, decided to move to London five years ago. The UK has simple immigration procedures for billionaires, with the goal of attracting investors to the country. An individual planning to invest at least £1 million in the UK receives a visa with resident status and tax breaks, and can receive a British passport after eight years.
Idan Ofer (57) resides in the luxury village of Arsuf. He is married to his current, and fourth, wife, Batya, in 2009 He has five children, the youngest of whom was named for his late father, Sammy Ofer, who died in June 2011. Idan is Sammy's youngest son. The eldest son, Eyal Ofer, resides in Monte Carlo and is engaged in real estate, according to the foreign press. Sammy and his brother, Yuli, amassed their fortune in shipping and oil, and they divided their businesses between their children.
According to "Forbes", Idan Ofer is the world's richest Israeli, with an estimated fortune of $6.5 billion. He owns 50% of Israel Corporation through Millennium Investments Elad Ltd., of which he owns 80%, with the rest jointly held by Ofer and Udi Angel, the former husband of Leora Ofer, the daughter of the late Yuli Ofer. Ofer also has a stake in Pacific Drilling SA (NYSE: PACD; NOTC: PDSA), a builder of deepwater drilling ships. His stake in the company is estimated at $1.5 billion. He also owns a string of private real estate and shipping companies.
Israel Corp. wants to sell its holdings in Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL), its main source of profits, to Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE; TSX: POT), but a deal has been stymied by fierce opposition from employees and senior government officials. Israel Corp. also has less successful holdings: Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., Better Place, Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE: TSEM), and Oil Refineries Ltd. (TASE:ORL), and holdings in Latin American power company, IC Power unit Inkia Energy Inc., and a joint Chinese venture Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 7, 2013
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