Eisenberg Group Acquires 17% More ICL Shares from State at $230 Mln

The deal was the exercise of an option under the 1995 sale agreement, at a company value 10% lower than market.

The Eisenberg group today (Sunday) exercised its option under its agreement with the government, to acquire another 17% of the shares of Israel Chemicals at a consideration of NIS 667 million ($230 million). In this transaction, implemented through the Israel Corporation, the Eisenberg family is increasing its share in ICL to 41.9%. In its first acquisition, in 1995, the family acquired 24.9% for $231 million. The agreement with the government determined at the time that the Eisenberg group had a prior right (option) to purchase whatever quantity of ICL shares the government might wish to sell.

The acquisition signing ceremony took place today (Sunday) at the Ministry of Finance, attended by Tzipi Livni, Director-General of the Government Corporations Authority, and Ministry of Finance Accountant General Shai Talmon. Also present were Yigal Dimant, son-in-law of the late Shoul Eisenberg and general manager of ICL, and Amos Mar-Haim, Chairman of the Israel Corporation.

Under the terms of the Eisenberg family’s option, the transaction is being implemented at the average Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange prices of ICL shares in the 90 days precedent to the offer. The consideration reflects a company value of NIS 3.9 billion. The company value derived from the February 1995 transaction stood at NIS 2.8 billion. The company’s market value today is NIS 4.3 billion.

Livni said at the ceremony that the government would shortly decide to further the sale process of the State’s shares in ICL. Following the transaction, the State of Israel holds 31.5% of ICL’s shares. "ICL is one of the main companies designated for privatisation in 1997".

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