Group Led by Bush Brother Examining Deal to Takeover IDB Holding

Neil Bush says investment would be group’s first in Israel; goal is to export Israeli technology and know-how to China and other countries.

A new player has entered the picture in talks to acquire control of the IDB group, with the arrival of a brother of former United States President George W. Bush on Tuesday.

Neil Bush leads a group of investors from the U.S., China, Hong Kong and Singapore that is showing interest in IDB.

The group stated that its goal is to inject funds into IDB and export Israeli technology and know-how to China and other countries. The group made it clear that it has no intention of dismantling the IDB group.

Bush noted that this investment would be the group's first tie to Israel. “Our willingness to invest in Israel reflects the great potential Israel has to offer the world.”

Bush's arrival in Israel followed the refusal of the trustees of IDB Holding Corporation's bondholders to issue a general tender to sell the company.

Currently, the main contender to take control of IDB is Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain, who has an agreement with IDB Holding's bondholders to invest NIS 770 million in the company after depositing $75 million in earnest money. On Tuesday, the Tel Aviv District Court rejected IDB Holding bondholders' vote to extend the deadline on Elsztain's next upcoming payment of $25 million that he is required to make.

Moti Milrod