JERUSALEM Aug 26 An Israel court has given
conglomerate IDB Holding an eight-week extension to
submit a debt settlement as Chairman Nochi Danker fights to keep
control of the company and prevent a takeover by bondholders.
The Tel Aviv District Court had been expected to rule on
Sunday but a flurry of activity this past week convinced the
court to give Dankner until Oct. 20. The court will make a final
ruling on Nov. 25 after a Nov. 14 meeting of bondholders,
according to court documents released on Monday.
Many of the companies IDB owns have been hit by slowing
economic growth and increased competition. IDB Holding owes
bondholders 2 billion shekels and IDB Development
owes a further 5.8 billion shekels.
Bondholders of both companies have proposed a debt
restructuring that would oust Dankner and give them full control
of a combined company.
The court approved IDB unit IDB Development's
sale of a 32 percent stake in subsidiary Clal Insurance
, Israel's No. 2 insurer, for 1.472 billion shekels
($409 million) to Hong Kong's JT Capital Management. It also
urged the capital markets regulator to reconsider a decision to
temporarily transfer control of IDB's Clal Insurance shares to a
Dankner has partnered with Ukrainian businessman Alexander
Granovsky, who plans to take over IDB by acquiring mobile
technology firm Emblaze through investment firm BGI
Investments and using its cash reserve.
Emblaze would inject 826 million shekels into IDB Holding,
provided IDB first settles its obligations to its creditors. A
new company would be set up that would be 70.3 percent owned by
Emblaze and 29.7 percent by Dankner.
Separately, Argentine businessman Eduardo Elsztain is in
talks with bondholders of IDB Holding to invest 770 million
shekels in subsidiary IDB Development in exchange for a 50.5
percent stake. But the court at this time opted
not to approve the proposal.
IDB controls Cellcom, Israel's leading mobile phone
operator and supermarket chain Super-Sol.