Hershey Friedman Snags Azorim

Businessman beat out Fishman and Arison

A group of investors led by Canadian businessman Hershey Friedman has won the contest for control of Azorim Investment Development and Construction Co.

Mizrahi Tefahot, the top creditor of Azorim's parent company Boymelgreen Capital, accepted the group's bid of NIS 300 million for 63.8% of Azorim's shares.

Eyal Toueg

The price reflects a company valuation of NIS 470 million for Azorim

In winning control of the company, Friedman prevailed over Eliezer Fishman's Industrial Building Corporation and Shari Arison's Shikun & Binui (formerly known as Housing and Construction ). On Sunday, the Azrieli group announced it was withdrawing from the contest.

In 2006, Bank Mizrahi Tefahot loaned Boymelgreen Capital NIS 700 million to help Shaya Boymelgreen acquire 63.8% of Azorim for NIS 1.2 billion, with the company's shares serving as collateral. But the deal turned into a financial nightmare.

Over the last few months, Boymelgreen Capital has managed to reach an arrangement with bondholders that writes off NIS 140 million of its NIS 500 million debt. In addition, Shaya Boymelgreen forfeited NIS 360 million in owner loans and reduced his ownership stake from 90% to 69%.