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Hod Yuvalim, which is controlled by the Histadrut Ha'ovdim Haleumit labor federation and its pension funds, has completed a takeover of the important Berger Holdings firm, one of the largest private brokerage firms in Israel, which manages more than NIS 7 billion.

Hod Yuvalim yesterday bought the shares held by the chairman and CEO of the firm, Amit Berger - 30 percent, worth NIS 13.6 million - after buying those held by Haim Sakal (15 percent) and Michael Strauss (8.4 percent) two weeks ago, for NIS 9.5 million.

Hod Yuvalim and Berger had a joint voting-and-controlling agreement in the firm but Hod Yuvalim surprised Berger at the end of last month by beginning quickly to gain control of the company.

Amit Berger will leave the brokerage firm when a replacement is found for him.

The three deals were carried out according to a NIS 40 million evaluation of the company. Hod Yuvalim, which held 35 percent of the shares before the move, invested some NIS 23 million to obtain another 53.5 percent.

Histadrut Ha'ovdim Haleumit is affiliated with the Likud. It will now control more than NIS 10.5 billion in the managing group. The labor federation's chair is MK Abraham Hirchson, chair of the Knesset Finance Committee. The strong man in Hod Yuvalim, who led the takeover, is its chairman, Miki Zoller, a Likud activist who is close to Hirchson. Zoller is also chair of Bank Yahav and of the Leumit health maintenance organization. Zoller acts also as a financial adviser to Hirchson.