IDB Wants $100 Million for Its Hotel Business

Canadian firm offered $88 million for the hotels during the Lebanon war, but was turned down

The IDB group has decided sell off its hotels, or at least those belonging to Clal Tourism, a wholly owned subsidiary of IDB Development.

The holding company is expected to demand $100 million for the properties.

Only a week ago Clal Tourism bought out its partner, Accor, in its hotels. In the next few weeks, it's expected to put out a tender for their sale.

Sources in the industry say that various parties from Israel and overseas have expressed interest in Clal's hotels in recent months - including real estate developers and hoteliers, from countries that include France, England, Canada and the United States

A Canadian firm offered $88 million for the hotels during the Lebanon war, but was turned down.

Clal Tourism and Accor controlled two companies in the hotel sector, one a management firm and the other a holding company.

The former, Accor-Clal Hotel Management, was owned 55 percent by Accor and 45 percent by Clal. The firm manages the Mercure Suites in Bat Yam, with 300 rooms, and the Mercure Tel Aviv, with 150 rooms.

The hotel holding company, Accor-Clal Hotels, was 19 percent owned by Accor and 81 percent by Clal. The company owns the Novotel in Jerusalem, with 400 rooms, the Novotel at the Dead Sea, with 300 rooms, and the 200-room Mercure Tiberias. Last week Clal Tourism completed its purchase of Accor's holdings in both its partnerships, and is now ready to get the tender underway.

After IDB's recent purchase of Koor, it now also owns the Sheraton Moriah hotels, of which there are four: in Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Eilat and the Dead Sea.

At the time of the Koor purchase, Nochi Dankner  the controlling shareholder in IDB - said that he was planning on selling the concerns non-core businesses. But Dankner said at the time that he was unsure whether he would sell the Sheraton Moriah hotels too.

IDB has not yet made a decision about these hotels.

A number of the groups interested in Clal Tourism's hotels have also made offers for Sheraton Moriah, but for now IDB is not putting the two sets of hotels on the block together.