Argentinean Jewish businessman to rescue Israel’s IDB

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentinian real estate mogul Eduardo Elsztain will invest $75 million in Israel businesses.

Elsztain announced Tuesday in Tel Aviv that he will invest $ 57 million in the failing IDB group and $18 million in Ganden Holdings, both controlled by Israeli businessman Nochi Danker.

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In February, Elsztain bought a 10 percent stake in Ganden for $25 million.

“We believe that IDB is a very strong company.  We have studied it and we like the business,” Elsztain said Tuesday during a news conference held at IDB headquarters on the 41st floor of the Azrieli Tower in Tel Aviv. “I’ve invested in Israel before. I came here with a strong desire to make a substantial investment in IDB. We think that the Israeli economy is strong and I want to inject the capital immediately. Of course it does not depend only on us, we also need the approval of the court.”

He will meet this week with IDB Chairman Nochi Dankner in order to close the deal, which reportedly will also involve other non-Israeli investors recruited by Elsztain.

Under the deal, Dankner and Elsztain reportedly would jointly control Ganden, and Elsztain and also would become vice chairman of IDB.

Elsztain is a supporter of several Argentinean Jewish institutions and projects. In recent years he has supported Chabad Lubavitch social programs and Jewish projects related to youth. He is also the chair of the Business Advisory Council at the World Jewish Congress and a WJC vice president.

Elsztain is chairman and chief executive of IRSA, Argentina’s biggest real estate company. IRSA recovered a traditional old building, located in Buenos Aires’ Abasto neighborhood, transforming it from an abandoned ruin to the successful “Abasto Shopping” in which Elsztain inaugurated the first kosher McDonald’s in Latin America about a decade ago.

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