El Al Spurns Potential Buyer

YERUSHALAYIM -
el al
(Flash90)

El Al Airlines is desperately in need of a cash injection to enable it to survive the pandemic, but the company is not so desperate that it will deal with just anybody.

On Sunday, Globes reported that El Al spurned a request for a meeting with representatives of Eli Rozenberg, who is bidding to acquire a controlling stake in the company. Rozenberg, who lives in Israel, is the son of New York businessman Kenny Rozenberg.

In an exchange of letters between lawyers for the two sides, El Al refused a meeting until the identity of the bidder was clarified and said it would continue to entertain bids from other parties, though Rozenberg’s is the only one so far. If the bidder is in reality Kenny Rozenberg, the bid would be invalid, since he is not an Israeli citizen.

The airline meanwhile received a letter from Ministry of Finance director general Keren Terner urging them to explore the viability of the offer, to buy a 45% controlling stake in El Al for $75 million.

The state-supported bailout currently being negotiated would make El Al a state-owned company again, while entailing painful budget cuts and layoffs. The buyer, on the other hand, would apparently not be making such demands.

Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Miri Regev told Army Radio on Sunday that “200 million shekels will be returned to ticket holders who ended up being unable to fly, before the “Yomim Tovim.” The disclosure was made in a discussion about the bailout.