Antitrust Authority approves Prisma-Psagot deal

Prisma will transfer its provident funds, which have NIS 20 billion in assets under management, to Psagot, boosting its assets to NIS 100 billion.

Antitrust Authority today approved the deal between the provident funds of Prisma Investment House Ltd. and Psagot Investment House Ltd. Prisma will transfer its provident funds, which have NIS 20 billion in assets under management, to Psagot, which will boost the latter's assets to NIS 100 billion.

Antitrust Authority director general Ronit Kan set restrictions on the transfer of information between the two companies' provident fund subsidiaries, and the directors of one company may not serve on the board of the other.

Psagot is allocating 24% of its shares to Prisma in exchange for the latter's provident funds, and is also giving Prisma an option to acquire an additional 6%. Following the deal, Psagot's Gadish Provident Funds Asset Management Ltd. will have NIS 40 billion in assets under management.

The Antitrust Authority found that the deal would have no material effect on competition in the long-term savings market in general or on the provident funds market in particular, because the two companies' market shares were fairly small and because of the large number of companies in the sector.

Kan nevertheless imposed conditions on Prisma and Psagot concerning their other businesses, which are not part of the provident funds merger. These terms are aimed at alleviating any concerns about a reduction of competition in the market.

The merger still depends on the companies obtaining approval of other regulatory agencies and of the banks. Markstone Capital Partners Group LLC owns Prisma.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 27, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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