Big Crash, Bigger Waves

The case that made the greatest waves throughout the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in the past year was that of the Peled-Givony group. In less than a year, the group that based its strategy on Yitzhak Tshuva's taking control of the Delek group, failed big time in almost everything it tried to achieve.

The venture was headed by a duo: Rafi Peled, former police commissioner, director general of the Prime Minister's Office, and CEO of the Israel Electric Corporation, and Aryeh Givony, a relatively unknown businessman. They were advised and supported by Tal Yagerman and backed by an impressive list of Who's Who of the Israeli glitterati. The group bought a string of publicly traded companies at bloated prices with generous bank loans. The jewel in the crown was to buy control of the Formula group from Danny Goldstein, snapping up Hayl, Mashav, Iscal and Feuchtwanger Industries along the way. And while minority shareholders of these companies had objections to the takeovers, Peled-Givony's activities - some decidedly unsavory - ended up by bringing the whole caboodle to an unhappy end. The falling value of investments and enormous financing expenses were apparent from the financial reports, which included vast losses and capital write-offs. An investigation by the Securities Authority after the group consolidated its reports in the first quarter and the arrest of Peled by the authority's inspectors led the banks to close their credit lines to the group.

The fall was inevitable. Within days, most of the directors of the group's companies had resigned, while suppliers and customers ceased doing business with the group. The courts have since been busy managing the group in an effort to minimize the damage that Peled, Givony and Yagerman caused.