Moti Zisser Appoints Self CEO of Elbit Imaging

Controlling shareholder and chairman expanding sway as company restructures to concentrate on real estate investment in key markets.

After rescheduling company bank debts totaling NIS 900 million, controlling shareholder and chairman Moti Zisser is taking full hold of the reins of Elbit Imaging, with his own appointment as CEO.

The company announced on Tuesday an organizational restructuring process as part of a new business plan.

The move is designed to help the company better the value of its real estate holdings, and to expand the number of project partners it has around the globe, with a particular emphasis on the United States, Europe and India.

Taking the role of CEO enables Zisser to undertake a more active role in promoting the new business development plan. Present co-CEOs David Machluf and Ran Shtarkman will manage the company's presence in foreign markets that constitute the core of the company's business.

Shtarkman will remain CEO of Elbit Imaging subsidiary Plaza Centers, which floated in 2006. He will be handling the company's real estate portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe as well as India. Machluf will serve as CEO of the company subsidiary Elbit Plaza US.

"After a long period in which we focused on the ensuring the company's financial stability, it's time to shift gears and return to Elbit Imaging's important, traditional business activities that generate added value for the company," Zisser said in a statement.

Part of the restructured company will become the responsibility of company chief financial officer Doron Moshe who along with company chairman Shimon Yitzhaki will be responsible for investor relations. Company VP and general counsel Zvi Maayan will be responsible for the corporate governance issues.

The company's restructuring is underway after the execution of over NIS 100 million of a NIS 150 million bond buyback program begun by the company in May 2011. The goal of the early bond redemption program is to reduce the company's external debt.
Zisser himself bought back NIS 19.5 million worth of Elbit Imaging stock earlier this July, increasing his company holdings by seven percent of total shareholder equity.
One possible reason for the restructuring is that Elbit Imaging's bonds are trading deep in junk territory, at yields between 31 percent and 35 percent. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange halted trading in the company's stock at mid-morning Tuesday, to give investors a chance to digest the news rather than react rashly.