EL AL an Isreali flag carrier has been looking for a new investor for the past several months. The airline was in a bad financial situation before the current pandemic started, and of course this situation just exacerbated EL AL’s problems.
Around the beginning of July it was revealed that an unnamed party was interested in acquiring EL AL. It was later revealed that 27-year-old Eli Rosenberg, who currently lives in Jerusalem, was negotiating to take a controlling stake in EL AL. That now appears to actually be happening.
As you’d expect, there’s a backstory here — Eli’s father is Naftali Rosenberg, a New York businessman who owns nursing homes, private ambulance companies, and more. Eli has Israeli citizenship, which is a requirement of taking a controlling stake in the airline. His father, on the other hand, doesn’t have Israeli citizenship.
Rosenberg created Kanfei Nesharim Aviation, and that company bought $107 million worth of shares in EL AL, for a nearly 43% stake. In addition to that stake:
- Israel’s government bought a 15% stake in EL AL for $34 million
- EL AL’s previous owners, Knafaim Holdings, reduced their share from 38% to 15.2%
Rosenberg had previously offered $75 million in exchange for a 44.99% stake, but that offer has since been increased. The deal still requires approval from the parliament’s finance committee, and it’s said that Rosenberg will meet with the committee next week.
Prior to this deal being announced, the plan was for Israel’s government to nationalize EL AL. The country didn’t want to keep a stake in the airline long term, but rather only as long as needed to get the airline back on its feet.