Nochi Danker's Rosh Hashana prayers must have reached the right address.
emerged Wednesday shortly after the holiday ended that the businessman
struck a deal with Jewish-Argentinean billionaire Eduardo Elsztain that
would provide his heavily indebted IDB Holding Corp. A badly needed
According to media reports, Elsztain bought 9.5
percent of the parent company through which Dankner controls IDB for 25
million dollars in an agreement helped arranged by Rabbi Yosef Pinto,
Dankner's spiritual advisor.
Elsztain, a Chabadnik and prominent
member of the World Jewish Congress, a Jewish advocacy group, is said to
have an option to increase his stake in the company by 30 percent for
another 75 million dollars by the end of the year.
the deal must come as a huge relief. In recent weeks media in Israel has
been rife with speculation that the holding giant with a diverse
portfolio that includes stakes in Cellcom, a mobile phone company;
Shufersal, a supermarket chain; real estate assets and, until its sale to
businessman Shlomo Ben-Zvi goes through, the newspaper Maariv, faces
Dankner has been fighting hard to keep his
company afloat. The recent deal has already sent IDB's shares in the Tel
Aviv stock exchange soaring.
The two businessmen's religious
ties seem to have played a part in brokering the deal. Dankner is a
Kabbalah enthusiast who has credited Pinto, a Jewish mystic with a
following among businessmen and celebrities, with his success. Elsztain
is affiliated with Chabad and donates generously to the haredi
movement's activities in his native Argentina and around the world.
Pinto is said to have put the two in touch after Dankner was looking for an investor.