Dankner group withdraws request to delay IDB court ruling

TEL AVIV Mon Jan 6, 2014 2:55am EST

TEL AVIV Jan 6 (Reuters) - A group led by IDB Holding Corp Chairman Nochi Dankner has withdrawn its request to delay a Tel Aviv court decision regarding a debt restructuring for the Israeli conglomerate.

This paves the way for the transfer of control of the indebted group to Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain and his Israeli partner Moti Ben-Moshe.

A month ago, the Elsztain-Ben-Moshe group won support from 75 percent of bondholders and bank creditors to take over IDB. Judge Eitan Orenstein approved the vote but ordered an investigation into the relatively unknown Ben-Moshe's sources of financing.

On Sunday, he upheld his earlier ruling following the conclusion of the investigation but acceded to the Dankner group's request to delay implementation to allow time to appeal.

"Following a deeper examination of the ruling ... the appellants advise that they are withdrawing their request to delay implementation of the ruling," the group said in a statement filed with the court and published on Monday.

The move ends a high-profile battle over who will head IDB, which through its pyramidal structure controls some of Israel's largest companies.

IDB expanded rapidly over the past decade under the control of Dankner, whose rival debt settlement proposal was rejected by creditors, but has been hit by slowing economic growth and increased competition.

IDB Holding owes bondholders 2 billion shekels ($570 million) and its subsidiary IDB Development owes a further 5.8 billion. The group controls Cellcom, Israel's biggest mobile phone operator, and leading supermarket chain Super-Sol.

($1 = 3.51 Israeli shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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