Meir Gurvitz Meets With El Al’s Board, Submits Offer

Former ZAKA CEO Meir Gurvitz (Photo: ZAKA)

Businessman Meir Gurvitz met with El Al’s board last week and made an offer to acquire joint control of El Al parent company Knafaim, which has a 38% stake in El Al Israel Airlines, Globes reported.

The Borowitz family has been the majority shareholder of El Al through its company Knafaim Holdings since 2003.

The details of Gurvitz’s exact offer were not revealed, with his lawyer stating that his offer will be finalized in the next several days. Gurvitz, who currently lives in the US near his father-in-law, Mordechai Ben-David, interrupted his vacation abroad to briefly visit Israel and meet with El Al’s board of directors and Finance Ministry and Government Companies Authority officials.

“After progress was made in contacts with the regulator, Mr. Gurvitz interrupted his vacation abroad and visited Israel for a few hours to meet with El Al representatives and immediately returned to his home in the US,” Gurvitz’s lawyer said. “Due to progress, Mr. Gurvitz expects to come to Israel again to complete the deal.”

“This is not a hostile takeover bid for El Al because Gurvitz is determined to share ownership with Knafaim,” Gurvitz’s lawyer asserted.

Israel’s Government Companies Authority confirmed that Gurvitz has applied for a permit to acquire control of between 25%-39.99% of El Al and also confirmed the offer of Israel-Russian businessman David Sapir.

“The Authority has met with two additional bidders, set out for them the examination procedure and timetables, and provided the applicants with requests for information,” the Government Companies Authority stated. “With the receipt of answers for the requests for information, the Authority will begin implementing its examination.”

Eli Rozenberg, the only bidder to have already received a permit to acquire El Al, recently increased his bid from $75 to $101 million.

As YWN reported last week, a fourth investor, a 28-year-old Vizhnitzer chassid from Zurich, is also preparing to submit an offer to purchase El Al.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)