Insurance company Israel Phoenix Assurance Ltd. (TASE:PHOE1; PHOE5) has acquired a 14% stake in Mayer’s Cars & Trucks from the Shahar and Kass families for NIS 574 million, in one of the biggest deals in the local capital market in recent years. The deal values the Volvo and Honda importer at NIS 4.1 billion, higher than previous media reports about the imminent purchase.
The higher than expected valuation stems from the option Phoenix was given to buy a further 6% stake in Mayer’s and raise its holding to 20%, the highest holding permitted by law. The value of the option, first reported by “Globes” is between NIS 200 million and NIS 300 million and will allow Phoenix to increase its stake within the next three years at a valuation of NIS 4.4-4.5 billion.
Mayer’s Cars and Trucks was founded in 1967 by the late Mayer Kass as the exclusive importer to Israel of Volvo cars and trucks. His son-in-law Ya’akov Shahar (81), one of the owners of the company, is best known as the owner of Israeli soccer champions Maccabi Haifa, although the club is not part of the deal with Phoenix.
In 2002, Mayer’s became the controlling shareholder in Phoenix but after four years sold half of its stake to Delek Group, controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, and over the years sold the remainder of its holding, with its last shares in Phoenix sold earlier this year.
The deal shows the huge value of car importers in Israel and is a continuation of the acquisition of stakes in non-core holdings by Phoenix including El Al’s frequent flyer club, retail companies Max Stock and Yeinot Bitan and Partner Communications.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 3, 2022.
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