After Troubles at Alon, Weissman to Buy Sonol

Israel Oil & Gas Fund signed an agreement with the Azrieli Group to buy gas station and retail store chain Sonol for 364 million shekels ($96.3 million)

Nir Keidar

Dudi Weissman is returning to the retail industry: His Israel Oil & Gas Fund signed an agreement with the Azrieli Group to buy gas station and retail store chain Sonol for 364 million shekels ($96.3 million). The deal is subject to the approval and terms of the Antitrust Authority.

The deal does not include Sonol’s land in the Pi Glilot area, which the Azrieli Group is expected to sell to a real estate company for 107 million shekels.

Thus, the deal values Sonol at 471 million shekels. Weissman is the most prominent player in the rise and fall of the Alon group. Last year, his business partner Shraga Biran removed Weissman from all management positions at Alon. Either directly or through Alon Blue Square, Alon controls companies including For Alon, Blue Square Real Estate, Alon Gas Exploration, the Route 6 operator and others. Weissman holds 20% of the shares of investment company Bielsol; Biran holds the remaining 80%.

Bielsol holds 53% of the Alon Group, whose value dropped sharply when supermarket chain Mega found itself bankrupt. Weissman had a large role in Mega’s collapse – while he lost his management position, he accrued more than 200 million shekels from salary payments as well as from shares he received in Alon Oil and Gas Exploration, and U.S.A. Energy. Weissman had been trying to merge Dor Alon with Sonol for more than 10 years, but the trustbuster objected.

The Azrieli Group has been trying to sell Sonol for a long period, and initially was asking more.

Weissman stated in response that Israel Oil & Gas Fund was incorporated to invest in the field of energy, and that this would be the company’s first deal in Israel.