Hapoalim Sells TA Building to Shari Arison's Ex-husband

Bank Hapoalim sold Shari Arison's ex-husband Mickey Dorsman a building on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard for $6.5 million - $5.5 million plus VAT in a deal approved four months ago.

The building formerly served Bank Hapoalim subsidiary American-Israeli Bank and came under the parent bank's ownership when the banks were merged in 1999.

Arison heads the group controlling Bank Hapoalim and holds, through Arison Investments, 21 percent of the bank's capital shares. The deal was approved by the audit committee and parties at interest's transactions committee four months ago, while Arison and Dorsman were in divorce proceedings.

Bank Hapoalim decided to sell the building after failing to rent it and it had stood empty for some time, racking up $150,000 annually in municipal taxes. The bank reached an agreement to sell the building for $5.55 million to a well-known attorney a year ago but the deal collapsed.

The six-story building includes 2,500 sq.m. of office space and 49 underground parking spaces at the prestigious address.

The bank's spokeswoman stated in response to a query about the deal that "the deal was made at market prices and approved by those necessary in a related party transaction."

Shari Arison's spokesman said, "Ms. Arison didn't know at any time of the sale of an asset to Mickey Dorsman. The sale was legal and moreover, conducted according to exacting standards."