As El Al's financial crisis continues to worsen, Transportation Minister Miri Regev has received multiple offers to buy the company, but prefers that "good Jews" be able to buy the company, according to Channel 12.
In recent months, businessmen have approached Regev multiple times. One of the businessmen is Jewish and a former resident of Israel. The businessman stated that he has looked into the company for the past two months and wants to buy the company and reach an agreement with the Finance Ministry and banks on his own because he's a Zionist, according to Channel 12.
"If the stubbornness of the owners of El Al, the Borovich family, and the Finance [Ministry] continues, El Al will collapse," said Regev in closed discussions, according to Channel 12. "We need to allow good Jews that want to save El Al to enter the picture and to flow money and quickly. If the sides do not come to their senses, Israel will lose the national carrier due to business tenacity."
El Al denied media reports on Friday that it had rejected the Finance Ministry’s latest bailout proposal, stating that it had only “suggested adjustments” to the revised plan.
According to a new proposal received by El Al management earlier this month, the government is willing to offer a $250 million loan to the Israeli flag carrier.
In addition, El Al would issue shares worth $150 million, backed by a government guarantee to purchase shares that are left unsold. The agreement ultimately could see the state acquiring approximately 60% of the company’s shares and becoming the majority shareholder.
The revised rescue plan, developed after months of unsuccessful negotiations, is conditional upon severe cost-cutting measures and layoffs expected to affect one-third of the airline’s 6,500-strong workforce.
In a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the struggling airline clarified that it had not rejected the combined plan of a government-secured loan and share issue and intends to continue discussions with the Finance Ministry.
Eytan Halon contributed to this report.