Harel to raise stake in Jerusalem light rail

It is not known with whom Harel is in talks, or at what valuation for Citypass.

Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd. (TASE: HARL) plans to increase its stake in the Jerusalem light railway franchisee Citypass, Harel chairman Yair Hamburger told Citypass' board of directors today. The investment will be made indirectly through the Israel Infrastructure Fund, which it controls, and possibly directly as well. Hamburger added that he was resigning as chairman of Citypass after five years.

It is not known with whom Harel is in talks, or at what valuation for Citypass. However, TASE sources believe that Citypass shareholders Ashtrom Properties Ltd. (TASE:ASPR), Polar Investments Ltd. (TASE: PLR), and France's Alstom SA (LSE: ALS; Euronext: ALO), which owns 58% of the franchise altogether, are at the center of any deal. Harel currently owns 20% of Citypass.

Names mooted to replace Hamburger as Citypass chairman include outgoing Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) chairman Eitan Raff, former Minister of Finance and Israel Infrastructure Fund chairman Avraham Shochat.

In 2008, the Israel Infrastructure Fund acquired 10% of Citypass from Polar Investments at a company value of NIS 40-50 million, and received an option for the rest of Polar's 17.5% stake. Industry sources say that any current deal for Citypass would be at around the same company value as in the Polar transaction.

Citypass said today that Israel Infrastructure Fund is in talks to increase its stake in the franchisee, "in view of the great confidence of Harel and the Israel Infrastructure Fund's investment committee in the project, and the return that will give its investors, especially considering the expected completion of the project next year."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 25, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

View comments in rows
Update by email about comments talkback
Your name
Please insert your name
Hyperlink in a new window Hyperlink Right Left underline italic bold Bulleted List Ordered List Face1 Face2 Face3 Face4 Face5 Face6
Your comment

You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
In posting comments, I agree to abide by the Terms of Use
Globes encourages lively and frank debate, but posts that the editors consider merely abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. Report inappropriate content
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Loading Comments...load
Load more comments
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Capital  Markets Conference 2017