El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) announced yesterday evening that it had reached agreement with the Ministry of Finance on a rescue plan that will probably result in the airline being nationalized. At the same time, however, El Al continues to explore the possibility of a sale. Within the past few days, a businessperson, who refuses to be named, has offered to buy the airline and has even appointed CPA Reem Aminoach, a former economic consultant to the IDF chief of staff, to conduct negotiations on his behalf.
The possibility is being examined of transferring the controlling shares from Knafaim Holdings, through which the Borovich family controls El Al, to a trustee for an interim period. The sides have approached Israel Aerospace Industries chairperson Harel Locker, a former director general of the Prime Minister's Office, to act as trustee.
This is not a case of classic trusteeship. If Locker is appointed, he will hold the shares for a short period only, until the buyer obtains a control permit from the state, with the security checks that that involves.
It is not clear why El Al rushed to announce that it would adopt the Ministry of Finance plan when negotiations are taking place with a potential buyer. It could be that the aim is to put pressure on the buyer to complete a deal. Either way, whether the outcome is nationalization or an acquisition, the Borovich family will lose control of the airline.
Harel Locker declined to comment on the report.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 7, 2020
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