Yacimovich decries Dankner, IDB shareholders deal

Labor leader on IDB deal: Dankner responsible for holding-group’s "haircut."

Shelly Yacimovich (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Shelly Yacimovich
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich on Tuesday decried a deal struck between Nochi Dankner, the majority stakeholder in the IDB holding company, and the group’s bondholders, saying it was unacceptable that the man who played fast and loose with Israeli investments should maintain control of the company.
“Following the last two years in which Nochi Dankner took pride in IDB not giving a haircut to its investors, he is now joining the dubious club of controlling shareholders shaving the public’s pensions,” she said.
The Monday night agreement specified that the company would receive a NIS 500 million cash injection from its owners– NIS 275m. of which would be delivered upon signing the agreement, followed by five annual installments of NIS 45m. set to start two years down the road. The bondholders, on the other hand, would receive NIS 405m. in cash and a 15 percent share in the company, as well as several new bonds.
What that meant for anyone holding IDB bonds, including pension funds that bought the company’s debt, was they would ultimately lose a portion of the principal amount they lent Dankner’s company, a term known in finance as a haircut.
“Behind the complex, technical outline of the IDB arrangement hides a simple truth: We, the saving public, have forfeited to Dankner some half of his debt, which amounts to several billion shekels, and meanwhile he kept control of the company for himself as though nothing happened,” she said.
Even worse, she continued, institutions were bound to keep investing “our pensions” in Dankner’s companies “while he laughs all the way to the next haircut.”
Yacimovich, who is slated to lead the opposition in the new Knesset, promised to fight for policies that would impede the abilities of those who enact haircuts affecting their debt-holders to raise credit in the future. She also said institutional investors who manage the public’s savings should be held accountable.