Less than 8 months after Israel's first digital bank was granted approval to operate by the Bank of Israel, billionaire Marius Nacht is selling his stake in the bank that he founded to his partner in the enterprise Amnon Shashua. The bank announced, "Changes in the controlling core," in which, "Shashua is taking over the helm of control of the bank and will acquire the shares of Marius Nacht and become the sole controlling shareholder." The announcement added that, "Shashua will be required to inject $60 million as equity into the digital bank." The new arrangement will require approval by the Bank of Israel.
Amnon Shashua is the founder and CEO of Mobileye. The digital bank said that Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) founder and chairman Marius Nacht is leaving, "Out of a desire to concentrate personally and manage new and major projects in the field of healthcare and biomed."
The digital bank added that despite the coronavirus crisis, setting up the enterprise was moving full steam ahead and that dozens of employees had been hired since it had received a license from the Bank of Israel last September. "The bank's staff is currently completing the definitions of its banking products, services and work and regulatory procedures, and is beginning to set up the bank department including support and service centers, the bank's operational teams and more."
The bank added, "At the same time a necessary mutual inter-bank agreement has been signed that will allow customers to withdraw cash from the ATMs of all Israel's banks and the bank has also applied to become a member of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).
The digital bank chairman Shuki Oren reiterated that the bank still plans opening in the second half of 2021 and that the change of ownership would not influence the starting date.
Shashua said that the coronavirus had sharpened his desire to bring about a technological revolution that would help shape the new financial-consumer reality after the crisis. He said, "I believe that the digital bank represents a unique opportunity to bring about a big change to the economy and push the financial system to a better technological and consumer future."
Full disclosure: Marius Nacht is the former partner of Anat Agmon, part of Globes controlling shareholder group. The former couple are undergoing a personal and economic dispute.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 7, 2020
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