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IDB's Nochi Dankner Defends Deal as Best for Creditors and Company

In an interview to TheMarker, the embattled head of the IDB group says court-appointed expert downplayed stark contrast between rival bids.

IDB group chief Nochi Dankner said on Sunday that his consortium offers the best outcome for IDB Holding Corporation and its creditors.

In an exclusive interview with TheMarker, Dankner said bondholders will get at least 70% of the money owed them under his partnership with Ukrainian businessman Alexander Granovsky.

Dankner said the consortium he and Granovsky are leading would invest nearly NIS 1.02 billion in the restructured IDB Holding Corp. He added that the group will inject NIS 500 million into IDB Development Corporation on February 15 even if its proposal is rejected.

According to Dankner, the rival consortium, led by Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain and Motti Ben-Moshe’s Xtra Holding, is only willing to put NIS 100 million into IDB Holding Corp.

“We have a good and diverse group of Israeli and foreign investors” with deep pockets and the ability to support IDB in both the short and the long term,” Dankner said.

According to Dankner, in his report on the two bids, court-appointed expert Eyal Gabbai softened the sharp financial differences between them. Dankner said his consortium’s proposal was based on a valuation of NIS 1.3 billion for IDB group member IDB Development Corporation, compared to NIS 1.1 billion in the Elsztain and Xtra Holding bid.

When asked about his statement to IDB Holding bondholders, some 18 months ago, according to which they would not face a “haircut,” Dankner said that things had changed, adding, “I’m not embarrassed to change my opinion and say I made a mistake. Reality speaks for itself.”

Tal Shahar