High Court sends Vermus home

Apax Partners Israel CEO Zehavit Cohen has won a victory. The High Court of Justice on Wednesday dismissed a petition by Psagot Investment House Ltd.

By ERAN PEER / GLOBES
December 1, 2010 23:46
1 minute read.
Psagot Investment House

ROY VERMUS 58. (photo credit: Psagot CEO Roy Vermus)

Apax Partners Israel CEO Zehavit Cohen has won a victory. The High Court of Justice on Wednesday dismissed a petition by Psagot Investment House Ltd. CEO Roy Vermus for a temporary injunction against the plea bargain between Apax, the Israel Securities Authority, and the State Prosecutor. The plea included the ouster of Vermus from his position, and allowed Apax to acquire Psagot.

“Under the circumstances of the case, the employer (Apax) should not be compelled to continue the employment of the petitioners (Vermus), and definitely should not be compelled to do so by an injunction issued by the High Court of Justice,” said High Court of Justice Judge Asher Grunis.

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Grunis dismissed all of Vermus’ arguments one after the other, but this is still not the final decision.

“Since the petition for a temporary injunction is dismissed, and considering the reasons mentioned for the dismissal, the grounds for the appeal to a large extent fall away,” wrote Grunis.

He added, however that due to the fact that the Attorney General did not file a response to the petition, because of the strike action performed by state-employed lawyers, Vermus’s petition will be heard by a panel of three judges.

Legal sources though believe that the hearing is a mere formality.

Grunis though accepted the argument of delay. Vermus delayed filing the petition even though he knew for a long time that the Securities Authority would not allow the acquisition of Psagot on terms acceptable to Apax if he continued as CEO of Psagot. He nevertheless filed his petition only after the deal was completed. Grunis agreed with the argument that Vermus delayed filing his petition because he made tens of million of shekels on the sale.

“Apparently, were it not for the transaction, the petitioner would not have received this money,” wrote Grunis.


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