Shari Arison proposes to herself buy our the "American shareholders" of Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) , Israel's biggest bank, in which she already owns the largest controlling interest. In fact, Arison offered far more than Nochi Dankner had bid, via IDB (TASE: IDBH), before she shot his move out of the water, said sources near the negotiations.
Arison owns an 11.5% controlling interest in the bank, which comprises 57% of the controlling core. In other words, even if Dankner had achieved his aspiration of buying 8.5% of the bank's controlling shares, she would have been more powerful. At first Arison reportedly accepted the concept of having Dankner join the controlling core by buying out the other controlling shareholders, but she reportedly reneged, preferring to remain the sole shareholder in power. Realizing her opposition, Dankner halted his negotiations.
Now Arison has made the other controlling shareholders an offer of her own and reportedly, a generous one. The sources declined to say how much exactly she was offering.
Insofar as could be ascertained, Dankner offered to buy out the American shareholders for 10% below the market price of the shares.
The so-called American shareholders are Michael Steinhardt, Len Abramson and the Shusterman family. All are believed to want to get rid of their Hapoalim shares.
The controlling core of Bank Hapoalim is defined as 20% of its shares, which are marked as controlling shares. Arison owns 57% of the controlling shares, or 11.5% of the bank's shares.
The sources claim that Arison's talks with the American shareholders are advanced, and may be concluded even before Rosh Hashana arrives, namely tomorrow.
The Americans did not even try to play off Arison and Dankner to get a better price, say the sources, though others say Dankner rejected a suggestion that he compete over the price.
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