Managers at Mizrahi-Tefahot are getting nervous over a loan the bank extended to Arcadi Gaydamak to buy Ocif Investments and Development, and have given the Israeli-Russian businessman 10 days to return NIS 244 million.
Gaydamak had borrowed the money from Mizrahi-Tefahot in July 2007, and undertook that the value of Ocif shares, used as collateral to back the loan, wouldn't fall below NIS 488 million - double the value of the loan.
At the time, Ocif's market capitalization was NIS 810 million. Since then, the real estate company has lost 70% of its value, and its market cap has shrunk to NIS 288 million. Gaydamak's shareholding is worth NIS 200 million, which is less than the amount he borrowed.
Mizrahi-Tefahot officials had met with Gaydamak to discuss increasing his collateral behind the loan. Gaydamak reportedly promised to do what he could to add securities, but didn't.
Beyond that loan to buy Ocif, Mizrahi-Tefahot loaned Gaydamak NIS 72 million to buy controlling interests in Ameris Holdings, Willi-Food and Gilon Investments. Gaydamak is again in violation of the loan terms, but Mizrahi-Tefahot hasn't recalled those loans.
Sources near Gaydamak said that the businessman had written to Mizrahi-Tefahot before receiving the bank's letter, saying that unless the bank changed the loan terms at his behest, he would repay the loan within 45 days and sever his relations with the bank. The bank then hastened to release its letter, the sources said. Gaydamak himself did not comment for this report.
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