August 30, 2018 / 11:34 AM / 19 days ago

Israel's Delek Group sells 4.9 pct stake in insurer Phoenix

JERUSALEM, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Israel’s Delek Group said on Thursday it had sold a 4.9 percent stake in insurer Phoenix Holdings for 253 million shekels ($70 million).

The private sale consisted of 12.5 million shares priced at 20.25 shekels each, the same as Wednesday’s closing price, valuing Phoenix at 5.2 billion shekels.

Prior to the transaction, Delek held 46.2 percent of Phoenix, one of Israel’s largest insurance companies. Dalek did not say who it had sold the stake to.

Delek, which holds significant stakes in Israel’s largest natural gas fields and other energy assets, is required to sell some of its financial assets under new Israeli regulation that prohibits large domestic conglomerates from holding stakes in both financial and non-financial businesses.

It has been trying to sell its stake in Phoenix for more than six years. Several deals have been blocked by Israeli regulators who are concerned about some foreign groups taking over the company which, among other services, manages pensions.

A deal to sell Phoenix holdings to Bermuda-based Sirius International Insurance for 2.3 billion shekels fell through last month after it failed to win regulatory approval.

$1 = 3.6085 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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