The privatization of Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) is underway: Ministry of Defense Director General Maj. Gen. (Res.) Dan Harel has signed the privatization agreement. The agreement, which was led by the Government Companies Authority and was also signed by the Ministry of Finance, will allow for the company to be sold, and for areas in Ramat Hasharon to be vacated for residential construction. Under the agreement, the Ministry of Defense commits to make future purchases from IMI, totaling millions of shekels a year.
An additional agreement was signed by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, and the Israel Land Authority regarding vacating some of the military bases in the Kirya (IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv), in Tzrifin, and in Haifa, for residential construction. Under the agreement, the process of vacating the bases will begin next year. This agreement is the first phase of the relocation of IDF bases from the Tel Aviv area. The IMI Ramat Hasharonsite is not scheduled to be vacated within this timeframe, but in 2020.
Ministry of Defense head of logistics operations and properties Brig.-Gen. (res.) Betzalel Trayber told “Globes”: “The agreements that were signed pave the way for the bigger picture - of vacating the military bases in central Israel. This is a breakthrough that will lay the groundwork for future agreements as well. This plan means that it will be possible to sell lots for 3,500 residential units on part of the Tzrifin base as early as 2015. I expect the planning process will be complete by the end of 2014.” Regarding IMI Ramat Hasharon, Trayber said: “We are responsible for planning an area that will include at least 10,000 residential units, on the western side, adjacent to Ramat HaSharon. We do not yet have projections for the planning, as it is a new site, and the target for vacating it is 2020.” Under the agreements that have been signed, and in accordance with government resolution 4088 from January, 2012, the Treasury will transfer NIS 875 million to the Ministry of Defense.
Ministry of Defense Director General Maj. Gen. (Res.) Dan Harel said today: “The Ministry of Defense was obligated to privatize IMI, and took upon itself a significant commitment to buy ammunition from it, which will allow the privatization of IMI to take place in the near future. This process is strategic on a national level, and includes, in addition to the sale of the company (which will be a significant source of income for the government), vacating large areas in the center of the country for the construction of tens of thousands of residential units to ease the housing crisis, as well as relocating a large company to the periphery, which will create hundreds of new jobs.”
Under the agreement, 36,000 square meters of land in the north-eastern part of the Kirya will be vacated. The first 9,000 square meters will be vacated beginning at the start of 2014, and will be used, in part, for the construction of a light rail station. An additional 2,000 square meters will be vacated in 2015, and the remaining 25,000 square meters will be vacated by the end of 2016. According to this agreement, 421,000 square meters of the Tzrifin base will be vacated by the end of 2015, and the 30,000 square meter Palnord base in the Carmel Center neighborhood of Haifa will be vacated as well.
IMI said in a statement: “The fundamental agreement between the Ministries of Defense and Finance is an important additional milestone in the process of privatizing the company. IMI, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, and employee representatives, are now in the final stretch, moving towards signing the agreements with the workers.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 18, 2013
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013