A just concluded meeting between Antitrust Authority director general David Gilo and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE: DEDR.L) chairman and Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) CEO Gideon Tadmor, and Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu indicates that the two sides will attempt to reach a compromise before the upcoming hearing. Intensive negotiations between the parties are scheduled for next month.
National Economic Council chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel yesterday headed a meeting that included representatives of the Ministries of Energy, Justice, and Finance. A representative of Gilo also attended. This meeting was one of a series of meetings expected in the coming weeks designed to first achieve a governmental consensus on a position vis-a-visa the gas monopoly, and in order to analyze the consequences of the events in recent days.
Another meeting took place on Sunday between Gilo and Tshuva, with the participation of Tadmor and Abu. At the meeting the senior executives tried to understand what led Gilo to change his mind and reject the already-signed compromise on ownership of the natural gas reservoirs.
It is believed that the hearing on the existence of an agreement in restraint of trade will take place in late January, not in the coming days. The government ministries involved will try to formulate a uniform position by that time.
At the hearing, the Leviathan partners will try to convince Gilo that they acquired 85% of the rights in Leviathan from Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) legally, or else that they should not have received his permission at all. If Gilo is not convinced, he will rule that the investment in Leviathan is illegal and involves an agreement in restraint of trade. In that event, the parties will begin proceedings in the Restrictive Trade Practices Tribunal.
Gilo decided last week to repudiate the consent decree allowing the Leviathan partnership to retain ownership of both large natural gas reservoirs, Tamar and Leviathan, in exchange for the sale of two smaller reservoirs: Karish and Tanin.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 30, 2014
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