Bob Stark Of­fers $608M to Buy Africa Is­rael In­vest­ments

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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.

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