Ampal expects $17.3 million from the sale of Granite Hacarmel shares
Ampal-American Israel Corporation announced the completion of a private sale of 46.3 percent of its current holdings in Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd. to a group of institutional investors. The sale of 12,350,000 shares at a price of $1.40 per share is expected to result in total proceeds of $17.3 million. Proceeds from the sale have been earmarked for new investment opportunities.
The company noted that the sale of the Granite shares was initiated primarily to take advantage of favorable market conditions and to continue the Company's ongoing strategic policy to reduce its investments in companies where it is a minority investor.
Ampal's current investment focus is on companies or ventures where Ampal can exercise significant influence and use its management's experience to enhance these investments. Ampal continues to hold a large stake in Granite Hacarmel and continues to view this as good investment.
"Right now we see many attractive investment opportunities in the Israeli market and will use the proceeds from the sale to further diversify our portfolio consistent with our focus on majority holdings in companies with strong growth profiles both in Israel and abroad," stated Jack Bigio, President and CEO of Ampal.
Bigio continued, "The value of the Granite Hacarmel transaction alone represents a disproportionate amount of Ampal's current market valuation, around 60 percent. We believe that the completion of this transaction will allow the market to begin to recognize the full value within Ampal's investment portfolio."
As of March 31, 2003, Ampal held 28,145,433 shares in Granite, which were carried on Ampal's financial statements at that date at a book value of $24.6 million. This sale of 12,350,000 Granite shares combined with previous sales over the past few weeks has reduced Ampal's stake to 14,328,980 shares of Granite representing 10.28 percent of the outstanding share capital of Granite.
Ampal and its subsidiaries primarily acquire interests in businesses located in Israel or that are Israel-related. Ampal has diversified interests in the following sectors: telecommunication, energy, high-technology, real estate, capital markets, leisure-time and other.
Granite is one of Israel's largest holding companies, Granite was established in 1981 and has been traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since 1992. Granite owns and controls Sonol, Tambour and Supergas, which are well known Israeli brand names with national marketing and distribution networks.
Granite is also engaged in real estate through Granite Hacarmel Holdings and owns Allied Oils Chemicals and Granite Hacarmel Development Holdings. Through its subsidiaries, Granite markets and distributes refined petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gas, chemicals, paints, lubricants, greases and related products, and is a leading manufacturer of sophisticated oil products as well.
Granite is also engaged in water purification and desalination, oil and gas exploration, real estate investments and tourism projects. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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