US-Israeli businesswoman Shari Arison has revealed plans to divest her controlling stake in Israel’s largest banking entity Bank Hapoalim.
Arison, through its company Arison Holdings, holds around 20% stake in Bank Hapoalim, which is valued around NIS36bn ($10bn).
Currently, 75% of Hapoalim’s shares are traded on Israel’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The remaining 5% is with institutional investors.
The divestment decision was taken after Arison failed to find a strategic partner for the business.
Arison family owned controlling stake in the lender for around 21 years. Recently, Shari Arison was discussing a potential partnership with three other financial institutions but it terminated without any advancement, reported Reuters.
She has already received the approval from the Bank of Israel, the country’s banking regulator, to reduce her controlling stake from 20% to 5%.
The Bank of Israel has granted a one-year deadline to commence the divestment process and four years, with a two year extension option, to complete the sale, reported Timesofisrael.com.
All divested shares will be sold in the stock market. During the process, normal banking operations of Bank Hapoalim will not be affected.
Once the divestment is complete, the Bank Hapoalim will operate as a publicly held company without a controlling stakeholder.
In Israel, Bank Hapoalim has around 250 bank branches and more than 600 ATMs.