Business in Brief: Carl Icahn Said to Be Eyeing Delek Group’s U.S. Refining Unit

Courts rejects receiver for Fishman, but bars him from any asset sales; Extell reaches deal with China’s SIM for super-luxury tower finance; IDB takes Salinger to court over Clal Insurance shares.


Carl Icahn said to be eyeing Delek Group’s U.S. refining unit

Shares of Delek US soared on Friday after reports that a U.S. refiner backed by investor Carl Icahn is preparing to make an offer for the subsidiary of Israel’s Delek Group. The New York Post said CVR Energy was preparing a takeover offer for Delek US. The newspaper said Icahn himself might be simultaneously building a personal stake in the company and boosting his stake in CVR to 100% from 82%. Delek US, which refines about 155,000 barrels per day, took a 48% stake in another Israeli-owned oil refiner, Alon USA Energy, in May 2015 and was reportedly looking to buy more shares of the company. It was not clear whether a deal between Delek and CVR would have any impact on Delek’s plans for Alon USA. Reuters reported that none of the partners were immediately available for comment.  Delek US shares closed up 10.1% to $16.40 in New York Friday. (TheMarker Staff)

Courts rejects receiver for Fishman, but bars him from any asset sales

Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday rejected for now a petition by the Israel Tax Authority to appoint a temporary receiver of Eliezer Fishman’s assets, but Judge Ilan Orenstein instructed the tycoon not to take any actions in regard to his property. The decision throws a wrench into plans by Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim – two of Fishman’s biggest creditors – to arrange a sale of private companies to help repay at least part of his estimated 4 billion shekels ($1.05 billion) in debt. The Tax Authority, which earlier this month won an appeal over a 196 million-shekel liability dating from 2006 Fishman owes, said it sought the court order to prevent Fishman from divesting assets in a way that would benefit only the two creditor banks and without the court supervision that would ensure all creditors were treated fairly. In March Fishman lost control of Jerusalem Economy Corporation, his flagship property company, to Leumi, to whom he owes 1.8 billion shekels. (Efrat Neuman and Michael Rochvarger)

Extell reaches deal with China’s SIM for super-luxury tower finance

Extell, the New York property developer whose bonds are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, reached a deal over the weekend with Shanghai Municipal Investment that should enable it to move forward with its super-luxury Central Park Tower residential project. SIM will provide Extell with a $275 million mezzanine loan at a cost of 1.5% and take a 20% stake in the $3 billion project, which will be the second-tallest building in New York when completed. SIM will also take 30% in the Extell Development Company, the unit developing the project. Extell’s finances have been squeezed by tightening credit for super-luxury developments, which is why it turned to a Chinese bank. Yaniv Saylan said the deal solves Extell’s immediate cash flow problems but leaves open the question of how it will get $1 billion in bank financing it needs by next May. Extell’s 1.65 billion shekels ($430 million) in TASE-listed bonds trades at yields of 9-10%. (Eran Azran)

IDB takes Salinger to court over Clal Insurance shares

IDB Development Corporation turned to the High Court of Justice on Sunday seeking an order that would let the holding company use its Clal Insurance shares as collateral against bonds it issued two weeks ago. IDB, which is controlled by Argentinean real estate magnate Eduardo Elsztain, issued 325 million shekels ($85.3 million) in bonds with 19% of its Clal Insurance shares as collateral, but Dorit Salinger, the treasury commissioner for capital market, insurance and savings, told IDB it could not. The suit touches on a bigger dispute between the two over Salinger’s order that IDB sell off its Clal stake altogether in 5% blocks on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange after she refused to issue it an insurance license. IDB has resisted the plan. IDB attorneys termed Salinger’s refusal “irresponsible, unreasonable and disproportionate” and aimed at punishing IDB for refusing to consent to her plan. (Michael Rochvarger and Shelly Appelberg)