IMI Workers Committee Chairman Itzhak Yehuda wants the company sold to a strategic investor.
“Israel Military Industries must not be another Tnuva. We must not get into a situation where a group of foreign financial investors will come along and buy IMI for a shekel, take it round the block a few times, and then sell it for ten times the amount, ” IMI Workers Committee Chairman Itzhak Yehuda told “Globes.”
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Yehuda continued, “The huge importance of IMI to Israel’s security was again proven during Operation Protective Edge, and if the government decides to sell it to foreign investors we will oppose it and won’t let such a deal happen. I have no regrets about decisions we have taken and agreements we made about privatization, but that was out of a desire to see the company sold to a strategic investor with a connection to defense and weapons businesses. The last thing we want is for an investor to come from London and then tomorrow sell the company to somebody in India.”
Yehuda was talking after the Government Companies Authority approached the world’s major investment banks with a request to find potential investors. Market sources estimate the company’s value at NIS 2.5-3 billion. The Government Companies Authority is expected to publish a call at the start of 2015 for investors to make bids.
A source involved in the privatization process said that it was approved by the government which decided that the company would be sold to a private Israeli investor or foreign company managed by Israelis on condition that the Israeli defense establishment approved the buyer. The source said, “The aim of the government is to sell IMI at a realistic price. The approach to the investment banks was designed to maximize the company’s value and ensure that the buyer will pay the state what it is worth.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com