Hebrew daily “Yediot Ahronot” reports that US real estate magnate Larry Mizel is interested in Israel Discount Bank (TASE:DSCT). A few weeks ago, Mizel, a major contributor to Israel, sent a letter of intent to the Ministry of Finance stating his desire to acquire the controlling interest in the bank.
Mizel made his fortune in real estate. He is considered an associate of Minister of Industry Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert, and donated generously to the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. A few months ago, Mizel was mentioned as a possible investor in Channel 10 franchisee Israel 10.
Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced that six parties were interested in acquiring Discount Bank. So far as is know, two parties have submitted letters of intent. In any event, the tender, when published, will be open to all interested parties.
The state currently owns 51% of Discount Bank, with institutional investors and the public owning the rest. The tender for the sale of the state's holding is expected to be published in a few weeks. The state will apparently not stipulate a minimum price. The previous tender for the sale of the controlling interest in Discount Bank was cancelled in June 2000, after a protracted process. The Ministry of Finance and Bank of Israel now hope that the sale will be quick and effective.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on February 8, 2004