TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) has halted talks to extend a substantial loan to IDB Holding IDBH.TA after the Israeli holding company’s chairman was questioned on suspicion of securities fraud.
IDB said in a statement on Sunday it planned to pursue a similar type of deal with other financial entities that had approached it.
IDB’s chairman, Nochi Dankner, was questioned by the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) last week regarding a share offering in February and released under restrictive conditions.
Dankner said he respected the investigation and had full trust in the ISA. “I am confident it will quickly become clear that all my actions on every matter were and always are legal,” he said.
In October IDB said it was considering acquiring subsidiary Koor Industries KOR.TA to simplify the complex, pyramid-like structure of the debt-ridden conglomerate. It said this would be done in conjunction with receipt of a substantial loan from a foreign financial entity, identified by Israeli media as KKR.
IDB is one of Israel’s largest holding companies and its various units hold key stakes in Cellcom (CEL.TA), Israel’s largest mobile phone operator, Super-Sol (SAE.TA), the country’s biggest supermarket chain, and real estate developer Property & Building (PTBL.TA).
Koor owns 2.4 percent of Credit Suisse CSGN.VX and 40 percent of MA Industries, the world’s biggest maker of generic crop protection products.
Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford