Leumi Partners, the investment arm of Bank Leumi, is in advanced negotiations to buy 10% of Retailers, a subsidiary of Fox-Wizel, through an allocation of shares at a company valuation of NIS 600 million. Fox-Wizel is controlled by its CEO Harel Wizel.
Retailers holds franchises for sports chains operated by Fox-Wizel in Israel, such as Foot Locker and Nike. If the deal goes through, Leumi Partners will pay NIS 60 million for the shares.
Leumi Partners will be granted an option to buy 10% more of the shares in Retailers, exercisable in 2024, at a company valuation to be determined according to profit multiple, but no less than NIS 750 million and no more than NIS 1.05 billion. This would increase Leumi Partners' stake in Retailer to 20%.
Retailers is currently controlled by Fox-Wizel (90%) in partnership with Retailers CEO Dubi Shnaidman through Shnaidman Holdings (10%). As of now, it is unclear whether the 10% of Retailers' shares will be bought from Fox-Wizel or Shnaidman.
Retailers' current activity, which includes 22 Nike stores in Israel, seven Nike stores in Canada, and 52 Foot Locker stores in Israel, is not the only reason for the company's high value in the deal. Another factor is the potential penetration of Europe, reported by the Fox-Wizel group.
Two months ago, Fox-Wizel reported negotiations for a franchise for Nike and Foot Locker stores in several European countries. Fox-Wizel is planning on opening dozens of stores in Europe through Retailers.
Leumi Partners is Bank Leumi's arm for investment banking and non-financial holdings. Its holdings include Taavura, Mili Line, Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization, and Supergas. Leumi Partners has generated substantial profits for Bank Leumi over the years. One example of this is Super-Pharm, in which Leumi Partners had a holding for years, before selling it to billionaire George Horesh six months ago.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 12, 2019
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