Nochi Dankner has certainly contributed his fair share to the business pages of Israel's newspapers in the past year. We had ups, downs, crises, price drops, approvals from regulator A, demands by regulator B, nerve-wracking waits for regulator C, and endless guesses - will the IDB deal go through or not?
Dankner's contribution to the press aside, it is hard not to mock - and be concerned by - the way that IDB has been run over the last year.
IDB, the largest business conglomerate in Israel, has been up for sale for at least a year. Clearly, the current controling shareholders have lost interest in it.
Oudi Recanati has been living in Switzerland for eons, Leon Recanati already has one foot out the door, and the Carasso family - which was never actively involved - only cares how much they will get for their stock.
Into this void steps Nochi Dankner. In the past few months, Dankner took part in almost all major decisions in IDB - be it in the SuperSol crisis surrounding the withdrawal of CEO Amig Sagis, Clal Insurance's move to buy Ilanot Batucha, or Israel Discount Bank's discussions of the cable merger.
Whether the deal goes through or not, Nochi Dankner already knows what it's like to run IDB. He has in effect been running it for the last few months, without being responsible and without paying a dime out of his own pocket.
Next week, the transaction is to pass its final hurdle. IDB is at the point when the owners have to decide whether they are going ahead with the sale, no matter what, or taking the reins back into their hands. Any further delays will only enhance the irregularity and uncertainty in which one of the most important conglomerates in the country is being run.
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