The banks that are providing financing to Tomahawk, Nochi Dankner’s private investment company, hold personal collateral from him that cover a significant part of the firm’s approximately NIS 400 million in debt.
- Dankner Seeking Debt Deal for Ganden as Well as IDB Holding
- An Unacceptable Write-off
- Chastened, Bank Leumi Freezes Home Foreclosures
- Bondholders Ready to Take Over IDB Group if Tycoon Can't Pay His Debts, Creditor Says
That means this is a scenario where Tomahawk − which holds the shares in Ganden Holdings, which in turns controls IDB group − were to fail to repay the debt, the banks would be entitled to open a legal process to seize Dankner’s personal assets. Dankner not only guaranteed Tomahawk’s debt, but also part of Ganden’s obligations, which amount to about NIS 500 million.
A spokesman for IDB could not provide an immediate comment, saying that Dankner is in Argentina. Dankner is counting on further installments of a cash injection that Argentine tycoon Eduardo Elsztain has promised him in exchange for a stake in Ganden.
The bank that has the biggest loan exposure to Tomahawk is Bank Hapoalim,, which lent it between NIS 200 million and NIS 250 million. Behind Hapoalim is Israel Discount Bank, which is owed some NIS 100 million and Credit Suisse, which has NIS 50 million in loans outstanding. Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank has another NIS 30 million.
Of those four banks, Hapoalim and Mizrahi-Tefahot hold personal guarantees from Dankner. It is not known what kind of collateral Credit Suisse has.
Banking industry sources do not deny that Tomahawk’s assets are insufficient to repay all the debt it has, but they stressed yesterday that the company has been meeting its repayment schedule and that there is no reason to consider any legal action to seize Dankner’s personal assets.
In addition, some of the bankers who spoke to TheMarker said that beginning legal action against Dankner or asking a court to declare him bankrupt would jeopardize the chances of his raising capital for his debt-ridden IDB group. Therefore, the banks would only take that route if they decide that Dankner’s ability to raise capital from outside investors is no longer feasible.
Along with the Tomahawk guarantees, Dankner also did the same for loans that Leumi and Mizrahi-Tefahot gave to Ganden. Over the weekend, when it said it had ended talks over forgiving some of Dankner’s Ganden debt, Leumi declared that it intends “to act on all the options available to it to collect the debt.”
In a scenario where Leumi does turn to the courts to appoint a receiver for Ganden, Dankner’s personal guarantees are likely to go into force. If Leumi were to act on its Ganden debt, it would likely force the banks that are owed money from Tomahawk to follow suit even though for now they have a business logic not to pursue him. Otherwise they risk losing a chance to get control of their share of Dankner’s personal assets.
As of today, the extent of Dankner’s personal assets are not known, beyond his residence in Herzliya Pituach that is valued at somewhere between NIS 35 million and NIS 40 million.