Bob Stark Offers $608M to Buy Africa Israel Investments
Africa Israel Investments Ltd. (AFI Group) has received a new offer for its purchase, over the weekend. Stark Enterprises of Cleveland has submitted a proposal for $608 million or NIS 2.2-2.25 Billion, as reported by Jewish Business News. Nati and Ofer Seidoff already offered the same amount. However, Stark’s offer includes a $166 million cash component, whereas the Seidoff brothers offered $138 million in cash. Still, the brothers are willing to purchase the company without due diligence. Stark has set conditions for the deal, including due diligence, which will delay the process at least a month or two.
Stark Enterprises is owned by Robert (Bob) Stark, who is a religious Jew. His net worth is roughly $3-4 billion. He is well known as one of the largest entrepreneurs in Ohio. He is also a philanthropist, known as one of the largest donors to Bar-Ilan University’s affiliate Medical school in Safed.
Africa Israel is an international investment group with holdings in real estate, construction, tourism, leisure, infrastructure, energy, fashion and media. Notably, the company operates 10 hotels in Israel, an amusement park in Eilat, 1,700 FINA gas stations, Gottex and Zara Israel as well as many more international holdings. Established in 1934 during the British mandate, the company’s shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and are an integral part of the TA-25 Index.
Lev Leviev, who has been chairman of the board since 1997, is leaving AFI along with Moti Ben-Moshe who is also retiring. The catalyst in the long term attempts to liquefy AFI has been Psagot, an investment bank and one of the biggest holders of Africa Israel bonds, who has been trying to leave Leviev with a smaller stake in the company.
Another potential investor who is still negotiating to purchase Africa Israel is American Larry Meisel. There is also talk of an Eastern European investor, who has had business associations with Leviev, who may submit an offer in the coming days, as per Calcalist.