New IDB Controlling Shareholder Appears to Be Kosher

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The business interests of Moti Ben-Moshe, the new controlling shareholder of IDB Holding Corporation, do not appear to be associated with any illegal activity, a source close to Israeli investigators told TheMarker on Tuesday.

That said, the authorities have not completed their examination of all the documents gathered by the investigators.

Two teams of Israeli investigators were assigned to investigate Ben-Moshe; one looked into his legal affairs and the other into his business interests. In addition, a team of local lawyers checked the registration of Ben-Moshe’s companies in the Virgin Islands.

The documents obtained by the teams were provided to the Israel Securities Authority, the Official Receiver and Hagai Ullman, the oberver appointed by the court dealing with the future of IDB.

A representative of the court observer traveled to Berlin last Thursday to formulate a comprehensive opinion on the corporate structure of Ben-Moshe’s privately owned Xtra Holding.

Ben-Moshe used funds from Xtra Holding to pay for his share of the consortium that gained control of IDB. His partner is Argentinian Jewish businessman Eduardo Elsztain.

An investigative team arrived in Germany on Sunday to visit the Xtra Holdings headquarters in Nuremberg. The team includes an economist from the Official Receiver and consultants working on behalf of court-appointed financial expert Eyal Gabbai.

Ben-Moshe “was very open to questions about his business,“ said a source close to the investigative team. “He instructed his staff to cooperate with the team in providing details to a degree that was really exceptional.” The team was provided with internal corporate documents, working papers and bank and supplier documents, among other material.

According to the source, the source of Ben-Moshe’s wealth was exactly as he had presented it: Buying electricity and natural gas from producers and selling it to end-users. He makes large profits, the source said, due to a business intelligence system that helps his company locate market failures and exploit them. “It appear that he is a very sophisticated man, who entered a market that was less smart and succeeded in producing nice results,” said the source.

Moti Ben-Moshe (left) after the court awarded his consortium control of IDB.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

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