Court Gives Delek Real Estate 10 More Days to Get Bondholder Support

The appointed liquidator, attorney Hagai Olman, will step in if an agreement isn't reached by September 12.

Delek Real Estate was granted a 10-day extension Sunday morning by Judge Varda Alshech of the Tel Aviv District Court, in order to obtain the support of a 75% majority of its bondholders for a settlement offered by controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva.

The appointed liquidator, attorney Hagai Olman, will step in if an agreement isn't reached by September 12. Tshuva's latest proposal is to provide bondholders with NIS 750 million in seven installments bearing 6% interest.

"This is a situation where the company is insolvent and there is no agreed-upon settlement," ruled the judge. "The company's request is most unusual and problematic. The state's official receiver was justified in claiming Delek Real Estate secured itself a 'deluxe' stay of proceedings: With all due respect, it isn't at all certain that the value of the bondholders' claims against the company, and its controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva, are ostensibly baseless."

"Negotiations were long and hard: Nobody enjoys going sleepless night and day," said Amir Bartov, Delek Real Estate's attorney, explaining that all the bondholder delegations agreed to the postponement request. "The liquidation option isn't disappearing, and the company's expenses are being paid by the controlling owner. At stake are losses in the hundreds of millions of shekels versus a most significant contribution by the company's controlling owner. Some want more while others are satisfied. Such a contribution is unprecedented in Israel."

Alshech cut him off, interjecting: " (Lev ) Leviev put in NIS 750 million, so don't go telling me this is a contribution never before seen in Israel. I am very familiar with the Africa-Israel case." Alshech was the presiding judge in that company's debt settlement.

Bartov tried claiming in response that the security offered in this case is better, but Alshech answered that Leviev offered bondholders the money within three years rather than seven.

"The current settlement will obtain more than a 75% majority," added Bartov. "The B4 and B25 (bond series ) delegates signed a memorandum of principles, and the B5 trustee announced that he agrees to putting off appointing a temporary liquidator and having a postponement. We are also asking approval to go ahead with the Buckingham Gate deal, an integral part of the new settlement offer."

The latter deal, involving a sale of assets in a project near London's Buckingham Palace, is expected to generate funds that would be vital to Delek Real Estate in meeting its payments.

Guy Gissin, representing series B25 bondholders owning NIS 600 million of the debt, explained to the judge that the current settlement offer has an upside for the creditors, seeing NIS 830 million of their money. However, series B5 bondholders with NIS 1.4 billion of the debt are still on the fence regarding the current offer.