Ports privatization to get gov't go-ahead

The first stage of the privatization is scheduled for February 2010, through a public offering.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz and Minister of Transport Israel Katz will tomorrow submit to the ministerial privatization committee their proposal for privatizing Ashdod Port Company Ltd. and Haifa Port Company Ltd. through a gradual sale of the state's holdings in them.

The proposal does not include the privatization of Eilat Port Company Ltd., where the government plans to sell the controlling interest in a private sale to a strategic investor.

The first stage of the privatization is scheduled for February 2010, through a public offering, either in the form of an offer to sell, or a combination of an offer to sell and an IPO. The government will sell up to 15% of the Ashdod Port and the Haifa Port.

In the second stage of the privatization, the government will sell 34% of the Ashdod Port and the Haifa Port issued share capital, beginning in February 2011. According to the proposal, until the second stage, the government will appoint of the two port companies' directors.

In the third stage, beginning in February 2020, the government will sell shares in the Ashdod Port and the Haifa Port to reduce its holding to 51%, thereby retaining the controlling interest.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 8, 2009

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

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