Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) will shortly float credit card company Isracard. This morning, the bank filed a 770-page prospectus for the company for an offering that it is believed will take place within the next few weeks. The offering will be based on Isracard's 2018 financial statements.
The sale of Isracard was forced on Bank Hapoalim, headed by Arik Pinto, by the enactment of the recommendations of the Strum committee on competition in financial services, requiring the major banks to divest themselves of their credit card operations. Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) has already completed the sale of Leumi Card to US private equity fund Warburg Pincus at a valuation of NIS 2.5 billion, 30% higher than the company's shareholders' equity. Isracard has shareholders' equity of NIS 3 billion, and it will presumably pay a large dividend to the bank before the flotation (Leumi Card distributed a dividend of NIS 400 million before its sale).
Isracard is the largest credit card company in Israel, with a market share of nearly 50%. In consumer credit, however, the engine growth of companies in the sector, Isracard is currently the smallest player, but it plans substantial growth in this business.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 10, 2019
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