IPOs Slated for Five Israeli Government-owned Companies

The sale of shares in Israel Aerospace Industries, the Mekorot national water company, Israel Post, Haifa Port and Ashdod Port, could generate billions of shekels in revenue for the government

The Haifa Port, December 2017.
rami shlosh

The Government Corporations Authority, headed by Yaakov Quint, has begun planning initial public offerings of minority stakes in five state-owned companies, TheMarker has learned.

The sale of shares in Israel Aerospace Industries, the Mekorot national water company, Israel Post, Haifa Port and Ashdod Port, could generate billions of shekels in revenue for the government. A final plan will be presented to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon within weeks, sources said.

The IPOs will follow recommendations made years ago by McKinsey & Company, originally aimed at floating up to 20 state-owned firms. They called for the government’s retaining control of the firms while imposing market discipline.

After losing momentum following a privatization wave in the 1990s and early 2000s, the government’s efforts have gone through fits and starts. The treasury is selling Israel Military Industries to Elbit Systems, but a plan to sell 49% of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems did not pan out.

An IPO for IAI may be delayed as the company undertakes a recovery plan after two tough years, including a police probe of its unions and a director. On Sunday, the police recommended filing corruption charges against Labor Minister Haim Katz in connection with his past IAI union activities.

Yaakov Quint, left, the head of the Government Companies Authority.
Michal Fattal