Dankners to Pocket $123 Million on Ellern Restructuring

The controlling shareholders in Ellern Investments, Avraham and Shmuel Dankner and the heirs of David Gineo, Rachel Elran and Orly Mor, will receive $149 million as a result of the restructuring of the holdings of the Dankner Group. The controlling shareholders are to reinvest $26 million to finance the deal, leaving them with $123 million.

The calculation, based on a prospectus for a rights issue by Ellern, contradicts previous appraisals that the controlling share holders in Ellern would plow back all the proceeds of the sale. Under the terms of the deal Ellern is to buy the controlling shares in Dankner Investments, Salt Industries and Dor Chemicals.

According to the prospectus, the Shmuel Dankner family will receive $51.6 million from the sale of its shares in Dankner Investments, Salt Industries and Dor Chemicals. The Avraham Dankner family will receive $48.2 million and Orly Mor and Rachel Elran will receive $49.1 million.

The Shmuel and Avraham Dankner families purchased the controlling share in Ellern Investments two years ago for $30 million. As part of the rights issue they will invest $10 million, while Mor and Elran will invest $16 million in a private allocation.

The Yitzhak Dankner family (Nochi Dankner's father) will receive $32.7 million, which it intends to use to finance the takeover of hte IDB conglomerate. The David Dankner family will receive $35.4 million. Altogether, the proceeds will amount to $217 million.

The Ellern deal will be financed by a $105 million loan that the group is trying to get together from the banks (primarily Bank Leumi), money that the Dankners will put in through the rights issue, independent sources and rights that will be received from public shareholders in Ellern.

Bank Leumi is currently the Dankner family's largest lender - it financed Salt Industries' purchase of the controlling share of Bank Hapoalim in 1997.

In October this year Salt Industries is due to repay NIS 70 million of the loan it took to finance the Bank Hapoalim purchase. In recent months Bank Leumi has asked Salt Industries to increase its securities for the loan, after Bank Hapoalim's share value dropped below the level stipulated under the loan's terms. It is not yet clear whether the Dankners will use part of the proceeds from the deal to repay the Bank Leumi loan.