IDB’s Clal Buyer Transfers $20m to Trustee

It’s unknown whether agreement with buyer contains conditions beyond Israeli regulators’ approval, which is necessary since Clal handles significant public funds.

IDB Development’s agreement to sell part of its Clal Insurance stake advanced over the weekend as buyer Charoen Pokphand, a company controlled by Chinese billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, transferred $20 million into a trustee account in Israel. It’s not clear how likely the deal is to go through.

Charoen Pokphand representatives are expected to visit Israel soon to conduct further checks. It’s also not known whether the agreement contains conditions beyond Israeli regulators’ approval, which is necessary since Clal handles significant public funds. IDB Development currently owns a 55% stake in Clal, but as part of a debt settlement going through the courts, IDB has until August 22 to sell at least half of that at a market valuation of NIS 4.6 billion for Clal as a whole.

On Thursday, Judge Eitan Orenstein postponed a meeting of IDB’s creditors by a week, until August 18. He will be ruling on their demand to seize the company on August 25.

Ofer Vaknin