IDE shareholder confirms fresh talks over sale of stake

IDE Technologies’ shareholder Israel Chemicals Limited (ICL) has confirmed that it is holding fresh talks to sell its 50 per cent stake in the desalination company.

IDE chief executive Avshalom Felber, along with two to three other buyers including Israeli insurer Clal Insurance, may acquire the stake for $175 million to $180 million, reports Israeli investment website Calcalist.

IDE has sought ways to structure a deal after talks aimed at securing a sale price of $700 million to $1 billion stalled. Calcalist reports that UBS completed a bidding competition between a US and a Chinese company in November 2016, but that the process did not move ahead.

The possible new arrangement would see Felber acquire 10 per cent of the shares, Clal Insurance 20 per cent, and the other 20 per cent would be purchased by an Israeli teachers’ union fund.

An ICL statement issued on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange following Calcalist’s news report stated: “The company is holding negotiations for the sale of its share in IDE. There is no assurance that these negotiations will materialise to an engagement in a transaction, and/ or as to the terms and conditions of such transaction. The company will report if such transaction materialises into an engagement.”

Read an in-depth interview with IDE Technologies CEO Avshalom Felber, September 2016