Are cracks showing between Elsztain and Ben-Moshe?

An argument broke out between the two at a meeting at Menorah Mivtachim.

Will the business partnership between the new controlling shareholders at IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH), Eduardo Elsztain and Moti Ben-Moshe, stand the test of time? Quite a bit has been written about the differences in the two men's personalities, as well as their different approaches to business.

While Ben-Moshe is more extroverted before the media, Elsztain is introverted. This was seen at the press conference Ben-Moshe held following the court decision to transfer control of IDB, where he alleged that he was a target for extortion by aides of Nochi Dankner. Elzstain's aides left the room, apparently because of reservations about Ben-Moshe's remarks. Sources inform ''Globes'' that the friction between Elsztain and Ben-Moshe is continuing, and may have escalated. Last Thursday, following a meeting at the offices of Menorah Mivtachim Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MORA) to discuss the terms of a loan by the insurance company to IDB, an argument broke out between Ben-Moshe and Elsztain. The issue was a loan given to IDB Development in April 2012, the outstanding balance of which is NIS 150 million.

Another disagreement broke out a few days earlier over the appointment of IDB Development chairman Aharon Fogel as chairman of its subsidiary, Discount Investment Corporation (TASE: DISI). Ben-Moshe urged the appointment, but Elzstain opposed it. They ultimately decided to appoint Fogel as a director on Discount Investment's board, at least for now.

Sources close to Elsztain and Ben-Moshe told "Globes" that the tense atmosphere is exacerbated by Dankner's investigation into Ben-Moshe's businesses. Last week, Dankner filed a motion with the court that included additional findings about Ben-Moshe, including a probe by the German energy regulator into ExtraEnergie GmbH, owned by Ben-Moshe.

Ben-Moshe and Elsztain said in response, "We are happy with the partnership, and succeeding in working together to meet all the challenges. We do not respond to rumors."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 4, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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