Israeli media mogul and businessman Eli Azur has entered the natural gas sector by acquiring some of Yitzhak Tshuva's holdings in the Tamar offshore gas field. Following yesterday's report that Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L), controlled by Tshuva's Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), was selling its 22.6% stake in Tamar Petroleum (TASE: TMRP) for NIS 100 million, it has now been reported that the buyer is Azur.
This is Azur's second major deal over the past year after buying the Walla! news website from Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) for NIS 65 million. Market sources believe that Azur, who also owns the Jerusalem Post, Maariv, and radio stations FM 99 and FM 103, will have no difficulties in financing the Tamar Petroleum deal through banking credit or an investment consortium. Shares in Tamar Petroleum are considered a solid and safe investment.
Azur began his career as a sports journalist before teaming up with soccer agent Pini Zahavi to found the Charlton TV company, which today operates Israel's four sports channels. Together with Zahavi, Azur also owns a major stake in gaming company Aspire Global.
The latest sale by Delek Drilling comes after it announced earlier in the week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its 22% holding in the Tamar natural gas reservoir to Mubadala Petroleum of Abu Dhabi for more than $1 billion.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 29, 2021
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