Phoenix unlikely to bid for Leumi funds

Bank Leumi funds manage about NIS 35b. in assets. Leumi plans to split its provident funds' assets into two blocks, which it will sell separately.

Israel Phoenix Assurance, which has just inherited Bank Mizrahi's provident funds through the purchase of investment house Excellence Nessuah, is unlikely to enter the tender for Bank Leumi's provident funds, which are up for sale. "We have not made a decision yet, but I don't believe that we will be part of the tender for Bank Leumi's provident funds," Phoenix CEO Yahali Shefi said. Bank Leumi funds manage about NIS 35 billion in assets. Bank Leumi plans to split its provident funds' assets into two blocks, which it will sell separately. "No date has been set for the sale, but we are in the process of presentations to potential buyers," Bank Leumi said. The remaining potential bidders for the provident funds are Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings, Harel Insurance Investments Ltd. and Menorah Holdings Ltd. On Sunday, Mizrahi agreed to sell all of its mutual funds operations to Excellence Investments for NIS 405 million and to sell its 25 percent stake in Excellence Investments to Phoenix Assurance based on a company value of NIS 775m. In addition to its deal with Mizrahi, Phoenix has agreed to buy an additional 16% of Excellence from Roni Biram and Gil Deutsch for NIS 124m, based on a company value of NIS 775m. Once the transaction has been completed, Phoenix, Biram and Deutsch will be the joint owners of the company, and Biram and Deutsch will remain in their positions for another five years. Phoenix will hold 41% and Biram and Deutsche will together hold 40.9%. With the Mizrahi and Excellence acquisitions, Phoenix will have NIS 42b. in assets under management. Separately, Phoenix on Monday announced the reorganization of its business into four central pillars: elementary insurance, health insurance, long-term savings and finance and investment.