Eli Rozenberg, the son of New York-based businessman Kenny Rozenberg, whose holdings include the Centers Heath Care US nationwide chain of nursing homes, is determined to buy El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL). He is pushing ahead with the deal and sources close to the matter have told "Globes" that it is not a question of if but rather how and when the deal will be completed.
The State of Israel has held a golden share in the airline since its privatization, so that even though El Al is controlled as a publicly traded company by the Mozes-Borovitz family, any sale will be very complex. The buyer will require a permit from the Government Companies Authority and the approval of several ministers, including Minister of Defense Benny Gantz.
To this end, Eli Rozenberg has hired a team of leading and influential figures in the Israeli business community to help complete the deal. The team includes Reem Aminoach, head of the UHY Shtainmetz Aminoach & Co. accountancy firm, the Shiboleth & Co. law firm, former Israel Competition Authority head Adv. David Tadmor, Israel Aerospace Industries chairman Harel Locker, who will serve as trustee, and media strategist Itay Ben Horin.
Eli Rozenberg met with his team to discuss options after El Al's board of directors announced the possibility of going into receivership. Rozenberg would prefer to complete a deal with El Al's parent company Knafaim before any planned public offering, but he has also taken into account the possibility of buying from any trustee appointed by the court, or after the public offering. A source told "Globes", "In order to prevent the collapse of the company, Rozenberg is leading a strategic move for buying control and for the recovery of the company, in combination with the State's plan that was published, and on the table are several options."
Meanwhile El Al has notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) that the board of directors is taking a further cut in salary in addition to the 20% cut taken in March at the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
The management of the financially troubled airline is holding crucial talks today with the pilots committee. Having reached agreements on salaries and layoffs with the three other workers committees - maintenance, administration and cabin crew, an agreement with the pilots is crucial if the necessary streamlining agreement to lay off 33% of the company's workforce is to be achieved.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 15, 2020
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