Israeli carrier Israir’s sale trustee has sought formal approval from a Tel Aviv court for the acquisition offer put forward by bidder BGI Investments.
BGI Investments is a division of the company Shai Odem, controlled by retail entrepreneur Rami Levy and business partner Shalom Haim.
After a drawn-out contest for the rights to take over Israir from its parent IDB, bondholders convincingly selected the BGI offer on 29 December.
The trustee has submitted this decision to the court with a request for its approval of the BGI proposal – nearly a month after similar approval was sought for an earlier BGI bid, before the sale process was interrupted by late rival bid submissions.
Given that BGI’s offer was favoured by more than 75% of the bondholders and taking into account the nature of the bid, the trustee believes there is no need to hold a formal hearing on the process.
It says it is seeking approval “urgently” given the “challenging environment” in which Israir, with its 400 employees, is operating. There is a need, it says, to transfer Israir to a controlling shareholder that can support the company, satisfy its requirements and maximise its value.
Two other final bids for the airline – from Dor Alon Energy and YH Dimri – were rejected by bondholders.
BGI complied with all the rules set out, says the trustee, and acted “fairly”, adding that its offer provides “certainty” of completion for the transaction, compensation for Israir employees.
Its bid amounts to 162 million shekels ($50 million), rising to 179 million once a debt waiver is taken into account, and the trustee believes other aspects of the bid will ultimately value it at more than 200 million shekels.
BGI’s bid also has a “high” likelihood of obtaining clearance from the Israeli competition regulator because the company has no other activities in the aviation and tourism sectors.