IMI prepare initial public offering, cuts

Gov't owned Israel Military Industries Ltd. reportedly plans early retirement for 950 employees.

By RONIT GOODMAN
April 26, 2010 09:50
1 minute read.
An IDF vehicle.

army vehicle 311. (photo credit: AP [illustrative])

 
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Israel Military Industries Ltd., a government-owned defense-systems maker, plans early retirement for 30 percent of its workforce to prepare for an initial public offering next year, three people familiar with the talks said.

The program for 950 of the company’s 3,200 employees would cost about NIS 1 billion. IMI might sell a 49% stake through an IPO, said two of the people.

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“The sides are still imposing difficult terms on the government,” said Doron Cohen, director-general of the Government Companies Authority, which is responsible for the activity of about 100 government companies. “So far there are no agreements. We are working on finding a solution that will eventually lead to a privatization of IMI at the end of 2011.”

The government and the Histadrut Labor Federation agreed on a plan to offer shares of Ramat Hasharon-based IMI on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Calcalist reported last week.

The government approved a plan in September to sell the companies that own and manage the Haifa and Ashdod seaports. It’s also planning to sell stakes in Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. and Israel Discount Bank Ltd. after bailing out the financial system more than 25 years ago.

The IMI offering will be conditional on a commitment from the government to continue purchasing IMI products, two of the people said. No one at the company was available to comment when Bloomberg called after business hours.

IMI had revenue of $650 million in 2008, according to its Web site.

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