With just a few weeks remaining before the tender bid is chosen in the privatization of Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI), Government Companies Authority head Ori Yogev has staunchly defended the arms manufacturers NIS 1.1 billion price tag.
Yogev told "Globes," "We have been trying to sell IMI for 15 years and the time has come to transfer the company's plant to the Negev, while clearing and cleaning land in the center of the country (Ramat Hasharon), which can help us very much in coping with the real estate crisis. I say unequivocally that we won't allow any interested parties or pressures to prevent us completing the sale successfully."
He added, "we are glad that there are probably several interested bidders interested in the company. We will sell it to whoever puts up the most money and not at a reduced price as maybe happened in the past when there was no choice and only one buyer."
Although there are five bidders still in the running Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) and US company Flextronics, are believed to be the frontrunners. Market sources believe that the three other contenders are all close to dropping out Yeshay Davidi's FIMI Opportunity Funds (FIMI), Renco Group, owned by American-Jewish billionaire Ira Rennert; and a group jointly controlled by businessmen Samy Katsav and Meir Shamir.
IMI, which developed the legendary Uzi gun, had sales of NIS 2 billion in 2015 and has a backlog of orders worth NIS 7.3 billion over the next three years including NIS 2.5 billion in orders placed in 2015.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 4, 2016
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