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Eli Barkat in talks on DS Apex takeover

Adi Ben-Israel
Published by Globes [online], 30/09/2009 11:33:00

BRM Group chairman Eli Barkat is in talks to acquire 48.5% of investment house DS Apex Holdings Ltd. (TASE:DSAP) at NIS 28 per share, reflecting a 27% premium over today’s opening price of NIS 22.33.

Barkat is believed to be trying to acquire the 12.3% stake in DS Apex of Moshe Wertheim through Wertheim Holdings Ltd., the 13% stake of Citigroup’s Old Lane Luxembourg Master Fund S.a.r.l hedge fund, the 4% holdings of co-CEOs Victor Shamirch and Ido Neuberger, and the 8.3% stake of real estate developer Nathan Hetz. Barkat may, however, acquire up to 55% of the company altogether.

Other major shareholders in DS Apex are Histadrut National Workers Union, with a stake of 13.4%, and the Union’s Workers’ Insurance Fund Provident Fund and Pension Fund own 9.4%.

Eli Barkat is the brother of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who is helping his brother in the talks together with Yuval Rakavy, a venture partner in BRM, which the Barkats control. Eli Barkat’s wife, Alona, owns the Beersheva Hapoel Football Club. Eli Barkat invested $400,000 for 50% of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) when the company was just starting out, and sold the shares for $400 million.

“Over the year’s we’ve received quite a few approaches from businessmen and various institutions interested in buying shares in the company,” said Neuberger. “We believe that the approach by Eli Barkat and BRM is the most suitable for the company, its employees, and shareholders. For this reason, it developed into advanced negotiations. I believe that if a deal is closed, it will contribute toward the stability of the company and its continued growth in all areas of its business.”

DS Apex posted a net profit of NIS 57.7 million for the second quarter of 2009, 23% more than for the preceding quarter.

DS Apex’s share rose 6.7% in morning trading to NIS 23.83, giving a market cap of NIS 856 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – – on September 30, 2009