The Ofer family has agreed on a division of its assets within the family in order to comply with the Promotion of Competition and Reduction of Concentration Law. The parties last week signed an agreement whereby Liora Ofer will sell her shares in Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF) to Eyal Ofer, her cousin, and receive in exchange shares in real estate company Melisron Ltd. (TASE: MLSR). Liora Ofer is also a director at Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.
Liora Ofer and her brother, Doron Ofer, and their cousin, Eyal Ofer own 22.5% of the shares in Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and 60.8% of the shares in Melisron through Ofer Investments and Ofer Holdings. At the same time, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank is currently backing a deal for the acquisition of Union Bank of Israel (TASE: UNON). The deal is currently waiting for approval from the Israel Antitrust Authority, which is deliberating on the matter.
In any case, one of the conditions for approval of such a merger is compliance by the owners with the Promotion of Competition and Reduction of Concentration Law before the deal is completed, and the Ofer family has therefore hastened to reach agreements in recent months. One of the options considered was for the family to retain its holding in Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and sell its stake in Melisron. It appears that the family eventually decided to return to its original plan of distributing its assets within the family instead of selling the real estate company at the present time. The shopping mall sector is facing a challenging period, with Melisron losing 10% of its market cap in the past two months.
The Wertheim family, partners of the Ofer family, must now also comply with the Promotion of Competition and Reduction of Concentration Law. This family, whose holdings are managed by David ("Dudi") Wertheim, holds 19% of the shares in Alony Hetz Property and Investments Ltd. (TASE: ALHE), which it will probably have to sell in order to comply with the Promotion of Competition and Reduction of Concentration Law. Another possible solution is for Alony Hetz to substantially reduce its debt in Israel, but this is regarded as unlikely.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on March 18, 2018
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