Government Rakes in Tax From Buffett Buyout

YERUSHALAYIM -

The biggest-ever buyout of an Israeli company by a foreign investor has been a windfall for the Finance Ministry, reports Globes.

Sources in the government say that almost NIS 1.9 billion from the Wertheimer family’s sale of its remaining 20 percent in Iscar to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway for $2.05 billion has found its way into Treasury coffers.

Official sources confirmed the payment was made, though they declined to disclose the exact amount. However, the tax levied on the sale is 25 percent of the sale price, or $513 million, or NIS 1.89 billion at the current exchange rate.

The revenue to the state was not assumed. Some tax experts predicted there would be none because Iscar is registered in the Netherlands. The consensus, however, was that there would be NIS 1 billion in taxes, after deducting dividends on which taxes had already been paid.

The windfall is so big, in fact, that Tax Authority sources told Globes it could even save the public some austerity measures.