February 27, 2019 / 10:48 AM / 22 days ago

Delek in deal to sell insurer Phoenix to private equity firms

TEL AVIV, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Delek Group said on Wednesday it signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its 30 percent stake in insurer Phoenix Holdings for 1.6 billion shekels ($442 million) to private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and Gallatin Point Capital.

In recent months, the Israeli energy conglomerate sold small stakes in Phoenix, one of Israel’s largest insurance companies, in a series of transactions.

Delek, which holds significant stakes in Israel’s largest natural gas fields, is required to sell Phoenix under Israeli regulation that prohibits 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 manages pension funds. ($1 = 3.6171 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer)

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