Investor From Mexico Joins Dankner Group in IDB Bid

The move comes hours before a court-appointed expert says it’s impossible to judge which of the three offers for the conglomerate is best.

Mexican businessman Daniel Jusidman has joined the investor group led by Alexander Granovsky and Nochi Dankner that is offering a plan to rescue Dankner’s IDB Group, the indebted conglomerate said on Wednesday.

Jusidman deposited NIS 90 million in an escrow account set up by the group, raising its offer to NIS 713 million, IDB Holding Corporation said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Jusidman became the second investor to join the group this week after the Neto Group, which is controlled by the Ezra family and whose holdings include Tibon Veal and food importer Williger, said it would deposit NIS 134.5 million.

The group is led by Ukrainian businessman Granovsky, who has pledged to inject some NIS 450 million into IDB through his investment vehicle Emblaze. The group also includes Dankner; the Netz Group, which has committed to put in NIS 61 million; and the Noiman family, which joined last week.

Besides the Granovsky-Dankner team, two others have submitted rescue plans - one by Israeli businessman Motti Ben-Moshe’s Xtra Holding and one by Jewish-Argentine businessman Eduardo Elsztain’s Dolphin Group; the latter plan was prepared with the cooperation of IDB Holding’s bondholder trustees. All three call for creditors to swap debt for equity and for the groups to inject varying amounts of cash. Their proposals hinge on whether IDB succeeds in selling a stake in its Clal Insurance unit to help raise cash.

The addition of Jusidman to the Granovsky-Dankner group came hours before Eyal Gabbai, a court-appointed expert overseeing the IDB restructuring, released a report evaluating the three proposals. The 120-page document did not reach a firm conclusion because of what Gabbai termed IDB’s high degree of uncertainty.

“The proposals are being made against a background of high uncertainty,” Gabbai told the court. “All of the proposals are based on alternative scenarios in which Clal Insurance is sold or not sold. Moreover, the proposals are to be put into place at a time of crisis for the company, when without outside intervention IDB Development Corporation will be suffering serious cash flow problems.”

A source close to Gabbai said the real choice for IDB’s creditors was between the Granovsky-Dankner and Elsztain proposals because Ben-Moshe’s plan did not require him to put up enough capital. “Gabbai can’t ignore the fact that Dankner is bringing the most cash to the table,” the source said.

Jusidman controls a company called Truper, which makes and markets hardware, gardening tools and electrical components. According to the company’s website, the 50-year-old firm has more than 3,000 employees and operates in 30 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as in the United States.

In 2007, Jusidman handed over management to one of his sons and retired. Jusidman has an estimated net worth of several hundred million dollars, making him one of the richest men in Mexico.

“If you look me up on Google, you’ll barely find mention of me,” Jusidman said. “All these years I’ve kept a low profile both because of my personality and because of security problems in Mexico.”

In Israel, Jusidman is best known for his philanthropic activity. He contributed NIS 25 million to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva and more than NIS 10 million to the nonprofit organization Yad Sarah and the Neve Michael Children’s Village in Pardes Hannah.

Ofer Vaknin