Oracle Founder in Secret Talks With Israeli Newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth

Fortune of Larry Ellison, wealthiest Jew in the world, estimated at $43b.

Tali Heruti-Sover.
Tali Heruti-Sover
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Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp., speaking during the Oracle OpenWorld 2015 conference in San Francisco, California, Oct. 24, 2015.
Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp., speaking during the Oracle OpenWorld 2015 conference in San Francisco, California, Oct. 24, 2015. Credit: Bloomberg
Tali Heruti-Sover.
Tali Heruti-Sover

Is Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, about to be one of the owners of the Yedioth Ahronoth group?

Ellison, chairman of the software giant and one of the wealthiest Jews in the world, held a secret meeting with Arnon Mozes, the owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth news group, during a four-day trip to Israel last August, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The sources also say that the deal which TheMarker recently revealed, in which a foreign resident is interested in acquiring the shares of Eliezer Fishman, who holds a 34% stake in Yedioth Ahronoth, began to develop in that same meeting. The deal is also supposed to include the shares of Judy Nir Mozes, who holds a 12% stake, as well as the 8% stake of the late Dov Yudkovsky's family. According to the deal, the buyer will join the core of controlling shareholders in the group.

Still, it is unclear how the complex and problematic negotiations will play out, or why Ellison, 71, is interested in entering a tycoon war with Sheldon Adelson and his Israel Hayom newspaper.

Ellison, the son of a single Jewish mother, founded Oracle and was its CEO until 2014. Since then he has been its president and chairman. He is known as someone who engages intensively in philanthropy. He recently made a substantial donation to Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in the United States. In wake of the donation, he made his last trip to Israel, touring the so-called city of training bases in the Negev and visiting the $9 million auditorium he donated, according to reports. It was reported during his visit that Ellison said he wanted to help Israel more. He reportedly said that if showed the way, he would provide more support.

Ellison has invested in an Israeli non-media company, buying a 10% stake in Yokneam-based Mellanox Technologies for $70 million in October 2010.

He refused to comment for this report, as did Eliezer Fishman. Yedioth Ahronoth did not respond either.

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