The airline put its’ shares up on the public market today. Meir Gurvitz and David Sapir, who were said to be interested in buying the airline, did not bid for the shares.
The share of the previous controlling Borowitz family has been diluted and they will no longer control the company.
Eli Rozenberg is the 26 year old Israeli son of Kenny Rozenberg, US owner of Centers Heath Care nursing homes. Israel’s golden share of El Al requires that the owner of El Al be Israeli, so the bid had to come from Eli.
The price paid, said to be about $100 million for roughly 43% of the airline, is inexpensive for an airline, but El Al is a real fixer-upper right now. The state of Israel will hold about 12-15% of the airline and will try to unload their shares within the next couple years.
El Al’s powerful labor unions have saddled the airline with ultra-expensive labor contracts, the company owes hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds for cancelled flights, flight operations have been closed since March, it faces more competition than ever, and its reputation is in the gutter.
I suppose that the good news is that the only place it can go now is up?
Do you think the Rozenberg’s will be able to turn the ship around and transform El Al from an industry laughingstock into an airline that Israel can be proud of?
I sure hope so!