Eli Rozenberg’s Kanfei Nesharim company has bought a controlling 42.89% stake in El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL).
After all the envelopes were opened with the bids for shares in today’s $150 million offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Kanfei Nesharim replaces the former controlling shareholder Mozes-Borovitz family’s Knafaim Holdings Ltd. (TASE: KNFM), whose stake has fallen dramatically.
The state, which committed to buy shares not wanted by the public, has bought shares for about NIS 100 million and will have a 12%-15% stake.
Of the three businesspeople who expressed interest in bidding for El Al in recent weeks, only Eli Rozenberg, son of US-based businessman Kenny Rozenberg, actually submitted a bid for the financially trouble company today – the person that El Al’s parent company Knafaim least wanted to see take control of the company. Meir Gurvitz announced earlier this week that he was dropping out of the race and David Sapir who expressed determination yesterday to buy shares at higher than the minimum price did not in the end bid at all.
A statement this evening from Eli Rozenberg’s Kanfei Nesharim said, “We are proud of the results of the public offering of El Al, the national airline, which at the end of the offering saw us holding a 42.85% ownership in the company.
“First and foremost Kanfei Nesharim takes upon itself a great responsibility to restore the trust of passengers, and to ensure the jobs of thousands of El Al employees, and lead Israel’s airline into a secure future. Throughout recent months Kanfei Nesharim has proven its seriousness, commitment and financial ability to help rehabilitate El Al.
“It is our intention to provide for El Al’s benefit an experienced professional staff with proven ability in all the relevant fields to manage a national airline company. The team will lead El Al in becoming a developing and flourishing company operating with the most advanced standards in the global aviation sector.
“El Al controlled by Kanfei Nesharim Airlines will put a special emphasis on punctuality for all flights, investing in major resources to improve service and improve the flying experience for all its customers, and working to upgrade the food served to passengers in all classes.
“Kanfei Nesharim Airlines will be committed to the national challenges of the State of Israel and will undertake every mission proudly with the blue and white flag and the Star of David on the tail of its planes.”