French-Jewish businessman Daniel Amar is in talks to buy half of the Dankner family's holdings in Israel Salt Industries, which has an 11.4 percent stake in Bank Hapoalim.
Amar agreed on an immediate acquisition of 10 percent of the company for $14 million. The understanding in principle states that Amar will later increase his holdings to up to 45 percent of Salt Industries' capital shares, meaning that Amar and the Dankner family would hold equal stakes.
The Dankner family, comprised of five households, currently holds 90 percent of Salt, which trades at a market cap of $132 million. The present deal reflects a value of $140 million for Salt, 6 percent higher than its market value.
Amar is interested in a controlling stake in Salt Industries, but Danny and Dori Dankner, negotiating for the extended family, explained they are not interested in waiving control and would agree at most to joint control. Amar's personal wealth is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and he has diverse holdings in real estate, retailing and banking in Europe.
According to the agreement, Dankner family members will use the money they receive in the first stage of the deal to repay personal loans. In future stages, when Amar buys more shares, he will inject the capital into Salt Industries so that the company can repay loans from Bank Leumi. The later stages will be executed according to different prices, in accordance with a mechanism that takes changes in Salt's market value into consideration.
Danny and Dori Dankner will present the details of the deal to the remaining households for approval prior to a signing next week.
Daniel Amar is the son of David Amar, who served as president of the Moroccan Jewish community for 26 years and was considered close to the king of Morocco, as well as to Israeli prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. David Amar died four years ago at the age of 80.
Former MK Raphael Edery was married to Amar's daughter Annie Claude, who died nine years ago. Edery is a business associate of the younger Amar and is representing him in the talks with the Dankners, along with attorney Yair Green. Edery was unavailable for comment on this report; Green refused to comment.
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