Elsztain agrees further investment in Dankner cos

Eduardo Elsztain will invest $75 million more in Ganden and IDB, subject to a settlement with the banks.

IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH) controlling shareholder and chairman Nochi Dankner has reached agreement with Eduardo Elsztain on a formula for further investment by the latter in Ganden, the company via which Dankner controls IDB, and in IDB itself. The agreement was signed in Argentia on Thursday, and the two men flew to Israel on Friday.

Under the agreement, Elsztain will invest a further $75 million, on top of the $25 million he has already invested. $18 million will be invested in Ganden, and $57 million will be invested in IDB Holding. There is also agreement on joint control by Elsztain and Dankner in IDB. Elsztain will have the right to be appointed vice-chairman of companies in which Dankner is chairman.

The amounts agreed will apparently not be transferred all at once, and there is also apparently another foreign investor investing alongside Elsztain.

The investment in Ganden is conditional upon an agreement with Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF) and Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI). Sources familiar with the matter said that Ganden will not ask for a write-down of its debt, a proposal that met a storm of public protest against Bank Leumi when it became known. Ganden owes Bank Leumi NIS 450 million, against which the bank holds as collateral only Ganden's shares in IDB Holding, currently worth about NIS 200 million. Ganden owes Mizrahi-Tefahot NIS 80 million.

Sources close to the IDB bondholder's representative told "Globes", "We expected a rabbit to be pulled out of the hat, but this isn't even a rabbit, it's hardly a mouse. Elsztain has not even transferred money to a trustee account, which might perhaps indicate an intention to invest, and besides, nothing has changed in the situation of Ganden, IDB Holding, and IDB Development all three are insolvent."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 28, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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