ROY VERMUS 58.
(photo credit: Psagot CEO Roy Vermus)
Apax Partners closed the acquisition of the controlling interest in Psagot
Investment House Ltd. from York Capital Management LLC on Friday afternoon for
NIS 2.75 billion.
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The price is basically the same as the parties had
agreed before the negotiations fell apart and were recently renewed.
Israel CEO Zehavit Cohen agreed to the deal after Psagot reached a plea bargain
with the Tel Aviv Prosecutor’s Office and the Israel Securities Authority on
Thursday night. Apax will take over Psagot this week.
Last week, Apax
held advanced negotiations with the Tel Aviv Prosecutor’s Office, in
collaboration with the ISA, for a plea bargain to be reached in the Psagot
affair. York was not involved in these negotiations, but they were held with its
knowledge and apparent silent acquiescence by York executives in New
Under the plea bargain, which Globes
outlined several weeks ago,
Psagot will pay a fine of NIS 150 million in exchange for no indictment being
filed against it.
York’s Israeli representative, Jeremy Blank, strongly
denied in the two days before the deal that any negotiations with Apax were
taking place. He claimed that Cohen had first approached him on Thursday
To close the deal after the negotiations were broken off last
week, Cohen bypassed Blank because they were no longer on talking terms. Cohen
concluded that Blank’s conduct and stubbornness were obstacles to a deal for
Psagot, so she approached York Capital’s executives in New York.
CEO Roy Vermus may appeal to the High Court of Justice within a few days against
his removal from his post following Apax’s takeover of the company.
ouster is part of the plea bargain.
Officially, Vermus’s aides said he
had not yet received the plea-bargain documents, and that he would make his
decision only after studying all the details. They said, however, that he was
determined that any plea bargain will not include his being legally
“Vermus is not a party to the plea bargain,” his attorney, Nir
Cohen said. “The plea bargain is not with his consent and he opposes it. In any
event, it is clear that he is not bound by the plea bargain.
bargain was reached when Vermus’s position was not yet presented to the
prosecutor, with all that that implies. The issue relating to his continuing to
serve at Psagot is therefore surprising.
The details of the full plea
bargain have not yet been delivered to Vermus, and after he receives them, he
will formulate his position toward the plea bargain and his next steps.”