Israeli government approves $75 million bid for major stake in El Al Airlines to son of millionaire US businessman

An El Al plane at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images 

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Eli Rozenberg, the son of millionaire U.S. businessman Kenny Rozenberg, is closer to acquiring a large stake in El Al Airlines.

Israel’s Government Companies Authority agreed to support Rozenberg’s $75 million bid for a 44.9% controlling stake in the country’s flagship airline, which has been laid low by the coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Now El Al must decide whether to accept the offer or take a government bailout package that would include a government-backed loan and a stock offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Under the bailout, the state would retain a 61 percent stake in the airline, leading again to its nationalization. The airline was privatized in 2004.

Rozenberg, 30, is a resident of Israel and an Israeli citizen. His father, who lives in New York, owns the Centers Health Care, a national chain of nursing homes and affiliated services in the United States.