Permira to Buy Stake in Clal Insurance

Private equity firm Permira is in talks with Israeli holding company IDB Holdings Corp. to buy part or all of its 55% stake in Clal Insurance, Reuters reported. The price for the deal could reach as high as $1.04 billion for the IDB Holdings stake, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – IDB Holding Corp is in talks to sell all or part of its 55 percent stake in Clal Insurance to private equity firm Permira [PERM.UL], the Israeli holding company said on Thursday.

“The two sides have not yet reached an agreement regarding a deal, including the price,” IDB said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

“At this stage Permira is expected to widen its examination of Clal Insurance,” the statement said, adding IDB is not committed to any deal with Permira and is free to hold talks with other potential buyers.

The Globes financial newspaper reported that the price for the deal would value Clal at about $1.9 billion, or $1.04 billion for IDB’s stake. Clal Insurance has a market value of 5.7 billion shekels ($1.6 billion).

In May, IDB said it had received queries from local and foreign investors about buying Clal Insurance, Israel’s second largest insurer. IDB hired Goldman Sachs to handle the sale.

Israeli media have reported that IDB decided to sell Clal Insurance following comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would take action to limit the “concentration of economic power” in the “hands of the few”.

IDB also controls Cellcom , Israel’s biggest mobile phone operator, and Super-Sol , the country’s largest supermarket chain.

IDB unit Koor Industries signed a deal earlier this month for China National Chemical Corp to buy 60 percent of MA Industries , the world’s biggest maker of generic crop protection chemicals, in which Koor owns 47 percent. The deal values MA at $2.4 billion. ($1 = 3.61 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)