The struggle between Doron and Leora Ofer over the inheritance from their late father, Yuli Ofer, has moved to the next level. After the Family Affairs Court accepted the position of Leora Ofer a month ago, and ruled that her father's shares in Ofer Investments Ltd. would go to her and not to her brother, on Sunday, Doron Ofer filed an appeal against the ruling with the Tel Aviv District Court.
Doron Ofer is appealing against the two key rulings by President of the Tel Aviv Family Affairs Court Judge Tova Sivan in the dispute between the siblings: the first, that Yuli Ofer's last will (November 2, 2008), which states that his shares in Ofer Investments (36% of the company) will go to Leora, is valid and no flaws were found in the will to justify invalidating; and the second, that the agreement which Doron claims was made between him and Leora irrespective of the will to divide their father's inheritance equally, is invalid.
Doron Ofer's appeal includes numerous claims, some of which cast aspersions people surrounding Yuli Ofer before his death, and their activities regarding his will. By law, however, an appeal against a Family Affairs Court ruling is confidential, and so additional details about the appeal cannot be published.
In December 2013, after months of dispute between the siblings behind closed doors, the court allowed the family to disclose the summary of the ruling in the case. Judge Sivan accepted the argument of Leora Ofer, and validated the last will written by Yuli Ofer in November 2008, rejecting Doron Ofer's claim that an earlier will diving the shares equally should be validated. The decision means that Leora Ofer now owns 51.7% of Ofer Investments and Doron Ofer owns 15%. The judge also ordered Doron Ofer to pay his sister NIS 250,000 in court costs.
Judge Sivan dismissed Doron Ofer's argument that his father was incompetent to sign a will in November 2008, and that the instructions in this will were the direct result of unfair pressure put on him.
Ofer Investments owns the controlling 20% stake in Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF) together with Mozi Wertheim. It also controls income-producing real estate company Melisron Ltd. (TASE: MLSR), Israel's leading owner of malls, and other interests.
Leora Ofer has been the dominant figure in Ofer Investments for a long time, and she is active in the company's two holdings, especially the malls business, the main activity of Melisron. She serves as chairwoman of Melisron and as a director of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. Her brother, Doron Ofer, has no official role in either company.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 3, 2014
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