Arkia Workers Seek Possible Alternative to Nakash Brothers

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Zohar Blumenkrantz

Arkia workers are talking to potential investors in case the sale of 65 percent of the airline to the Nakash brothers does not proceed as planned, TheMarker has learned.

Another attempt will be made to close the deal today.

A senior representative of Arkia employees said that four "serious" potential investors have expressed interest in replacing the Nakash brothers, but declined to disclose their names.

The workers yesterday handed Avi Nakash a new list of demands, in response to the Nakash brothers' demand to reopen talks on some clauses of the agreement.

The workers are demanding a commitment that any future share offering involve only Arkia shares, and therefore benefit the workers who are co-owners of the company, unlike a previous offering, when Knafaim Group shares were issued, and only the group benefited.

The workers are also demanding that the Nakash brothers not be allowed to reduce their holdings in the company before a share offering, and that existing employment contracts should remain in force.

"Our demands are not meant to push the Nakash brothers out of the deal, but rather are a manifestation of our lack of trust in them, which is a result of their recent conduct and surprise demand to reopen talks on clauses that were agreed upon in July 2005. We were not the first to make changes and demands of the other side," the senior representative said.

The source added that the Nakash brothers are demanding that the workers forgo wage rises and lucrative severance pay.

The sale of Arkia by the Knafaim Group to both the workers and Nakash brothers was agreed upon on December 31, 2005. According to the agreement, the deal was due to be closed on February 28, with an option for an additional one-month extension. The Nakash brothers would own 65 percent of the company, and the workers 35 percent.