Akirov slams Clal Insurance over Max acquisition

Alfred Akirov credit: Yossi Cohen
Alfred Akirov credit: Yossi Cohen

Clal's largest shareholder Alfred Akirov described the acquisition of control of the credit card company as a 'ridiculous deal."

Alfred Akirov has slammed the acquisition of control of credit card company Max by Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings (TASE: CLIS) board approved the deal for the acquisition of credit card company Max. Akirov, the controlling shareholder in Alrov Properties and Lodgings (TASE: ALRP), is the biggest shareholder in Clal Insurance with a 15% stake.

Akirov has been managing a fierce campaign in recent weeks against Clal Insurance CEO Yoram Naveh's plans to buy control of Max from US private equity firm Warburg Pincus at a company valuation of NIS 2.47 billion. The value of the deal has fallen below NIS 2.4 billion since Clal signed a binding agreement to buy Max in August because 25% of the payment is in shares but Akirov still insists Clal is paying a bloated price. "This is a ridiculous deal," Akirov said.

Akirov told "Globes," "I didn't buy Max, I bought shares in Clal Insurance. The Max deal cuts Clal's value to the floor. The deal was done at a ratio of 160% to equity, at a time when rival Isracard (TASE: ISCD) is being traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at 70% of equity."

Akirov says that the deal was done because Clal Insurance has no controlling shareholder and so the managers control it and they are harming the investment made by shareholders.

Akirov contrasts Clal Insurance's acquisition of control of Max with another Israeli insurance company Israel Phoenix Assurance Ltd's (TASE:PHOE1; PHOE5) acquisition of a 20% stake in vehicle importer Meir Group at a company valuation of NIS 3.8 billion. He described that as an excellent deal not built on management of the Meir Group by Phoenix.

Clal Insurance said, "Clal Insurance does not conduct confrontations with shareholders through the media but prefers to behave responsibly towards the company and launder all the issues that are on its agenda in the appropriate places and in the appropriate forums, in accordance with the rules of proper corporate governance."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 28, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

Alfred Akirov credit: Yossi Cohen
Alfred Akirov credit: Yossi Cohen
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