Rami Levy makes NIS 70 million offer to purchase Israir Airlines

The offer is considered relatively low and reflects the financial damage caused to Israir by the coronavirus lockdown.

Israir (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Israeli businessmen Rami Levy and Shalom Haim have submitted a NIS 70 million (approximately $20.4 million) bid to purchase Israeli airline company Israir Airlines, Globes has reported.
The offer is considered relatively low, and reflects the financial damages caused to Israir by the coronavirus lockdown. This may lead the current owner of Israir Airlines, I.D.B Group, to decline the offer and wait for the industry to recover as travel restrictions ease up.
The offer was summited via a company called B.G.I Investments, which Levy and Haim control equally. As part of the offer, B.G.I will acquire all shares of Israir Airlines for NIS 70 million, while Israir, in turn, would cancel a NIS 17 million ($5 million) debt that current owner I.D.B Group, owes it.
Attorney Ofir Naor was chosen by a court to represent the I.D.B Group, which is undergoing bankruptcy, as its trustee. Naor may choose to decline B.G.I's offer and to wait for the slow recovery of the global aviation industry, which would lead to higher offers.
Sources acquainted with the details of the deal have said that Israir is expected to receive additional offers in the upcoming days, which will also increase the company's value.
The current offer is perceived by some as a low starting bid, especially because Israir is considered to be in good shape after proving time and time again its resilience in dealing with the global pandemic. Although the company's revenues have dropped dramatically since March, it remained operational the entire time as opposed to Israeli airlines El Al and Arkia which stopped all of their activity after the pandemic broke out.
Levy has expressed interest in purchasing El Al in the past, but according to Globes it seems he decided to wait with that business endeavor, or simply decided that it was too risky at this point. Another possibility is that Levy is looking forward to a possible future merger between El Al and Israir.  
Levy is the owner of Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing, one of the largest retail supermarket chains in Israel. He is also one of the owners of Cofix, an Israeli coffee shop, bar and supermarket chain with over 140 branches across the country and nearly as many in Russia.