Last Update: at 7:17

Instead of regular state takeover

30-year-old wants to buy El Al

After the approval of the rescue package, El Al may face nationalization. Now an investor is bidding for the hard-hit airline from Israel.

All of El Al’s planes are still on the ground. The airline, which was badly hit by the corona crisis, stopped flying at the beginning of this month after its pilots went on strike because of the rejection of a government rescue package. Last week, management finally waved the nearly 400 million dollar rescue plan through.

According to the deal, El Al will have to fire a third of its 6,000 employees, and the fleet will also be reduced in size. Meanwhile, last weekend it became known that a private investor is very interested in taking over the airline.

Representation for his father

Knafaim Holdings has been negotiating the sale of its shares for several weeks now. With 37.3 percent of the shares, the private aviation company is the largest shareholder of El Al. Eli Rozenberg is an interested party, local media report. The 30-year-old is the son of the New York entrepreneur Kenny Rozenberg.

His father is active in the real estate business and founded one of the largest nursing home chains in the USA, reports news site Tacheles. It is suspected that Eli Rozenberg represents his father in the negotiations. An Israeli citizenship is required to buy shares in El Al. Rozenberg holds it and lives in Jerusalem.

Return to the state-owned El Al not welcome

The entry of a new investor in El Al would play into the Israeli government’s hands. The new shares from the capital increase correspond to a 61 percent stake in El Al, which the state might have to take over as part of the aid package.

In this case, Israel would provide for reprivatization after three to five years. The country last privatized its former national airline 16 years ago. The Israeli Ministry of Finance, for example, last week clearly spoke out against a temporary return to the state airline, the news site Yeshiva World reports.

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