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Delek-Belron International, part of the Delek Group controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, is entering a new niche - parking lots. Delek-Belron yesterday announced it had bought - via an English company in which it holds a 40 percent interest - all the rights to a British firm with 138 parking lots scattered throughout the UK.

The company paid RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland, the second largest British banking group) 609 million pounds sterling for the company, including sundry associated costs and fees, according to the statement.

Delek-Belron said its contribution to the deal is 243 million pounds, of which some 22 million pounds will come from its own equity. Other investors in the deal include Phoenix insurance company, Giron Development, businessman Yigal Ahuvi, financial consultant Itzhak Swary and a company controlled by Zvika and Chen Biran.

The lots have all been leased to England's biggest parking lots company, NCP, until 2037. NCP has more than 3,000 workers and operates more than 580 lots throughout the UK, including those at London's international airports of Heathrow and Gatwick.

The lots generate 41.5 million pounds a year in lease fees, and under the agreement between the bought company and NCP, these fees will increase by 2.7 percent each year.

Parent company Delek lent Delek-Belron NIS 160 million to to help finance the deal, trusting that it would take seven years to repay according to the projected rental income from the lots.

Delek-Belron International used to be listed on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, but the Delek group repurchased all its shares two years ago. It still has bonds traded on the TASE.