Earlier this week "Globes" reported that Israel's biggest insurance company Phoenix Group (TASE:PHOE) was in talks with two foreign investors to seel a 25% stake in its network of insurance agencies, in which it holds 80% of shares.
It has now been confirmed that Liberty Strategic Capital, the private equity firm led by former US Secretary of Finance Steve Mnuchin is in talks to buy a 25% stake in Phoenix Insurance Agencies. Mnuchin has reportedly held several meetings in Israel together with David Friedman, his partner in the fund and the former US Ambassador to Israel, with Phoenix CEO Eyal Ben-Simon.
Any planned deal would be at a company valuation of $900 million, although when talk first emerged of such a sale last August, there had been talk of a company valuation of up to $1.2 billion.
Sources close to the matter told "Globes" earlier this week that the foreign investors in talks with Phoenix Group do not include Jared Kushner's Affinity Fund, the son-in-law of US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Last fall it looked as if Saudi-backed Affinity Fund was going to acquire a stake in Phoenix Insurance Agencies but after the outbreak of the war in October the talks were suspended.
In addition to Affinity, it was known that US funds Blackstone, Reverence Capital Partners and Searchlight had expressed interest in Phoenix Insurance Agencies as well as UK fund Pollen Street Capital and European fund Vitruvian Partners. Talks are ongoing with one of these investors while at the same time a foreign investor that is not included in this list, which now appears to be Liberty Strategic Capital, approached the insurance group, and talks are also being held with them. The Phoenix hired investment bank Jefferies Group to find investors.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 23, 2024.
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