Closure of Eilat Port tender postponed
Opposition threatened to take action if Israel Chemicals was awarded the tender.
Container ship (illustrative) Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
The Government Companies Authority postponed the closure of bids for the
privatization of the Eilat Ports Company late Sunday, after the opposition
threatened to take action if Israel Chemicals was awarded the tender.
GCA moved the closure date to August 15, while stating that it recognizes the
importance of competition for the acquisition of state assets.
unit of Ofer Brothers Group subsidiary Israel Corporation, was the only company
to file the NIS 15 million guarantee by the original closure date last week.
Three other companies – Papo Maritime, Gold Bond Group, and Gadot Chemicals
Tankers and Terminals – withdrew bids because of the NIS 100m. starting
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) wrote to Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the GCA on Sunday, warning that she would
petition the High Court of Justice if the tender was not canceled
“This is the third time state assets are being transferred
to the same solitary bidder,” Yacimovich wrote. “This is a case of one family
dangerously gaining control of Israel’s key infrastructure through its many
subsidiaries and its subsidiaries’ subsidiaries.”
Zahava Gal-On and fellow MK Ghaleb Majadle (Labor) also called for the
government to cancel the tender in a joint statement Sunday, saying that Ofer
Brothers would pocket millions of shekels at the expense of future state
ICL officials rejected the criticism as “populist,” saying the
company is the largest employer in the Negev and the largest exported in the
Meanwhile, the Eilat Ports Company transferred NIS 69.6m. in
dividends to the state in a ceremony at Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz’s office
Monday morning. GCA manager Roni Friedman, EPC chairman Shabtai Tzur and EPC CEO
Avishai Cohen all participated in the ceremony.
Globes contributed to