January 8, 2014 / 11:26 AM / 6 years ago

New IDB owners appoint Aharon Fogel as chairman

JERUSALEM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The new owners of debt-ridden Israeli conglomerate IDB Group have named Aharon Fogel as chairman, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Until September, Fogel had been chairman of Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings for 13 years.

Fogel’s nomination still needs bondholder approval with a vote expected next week. Then, it would need final approval from a court which has overseen IDB’s debt restructuring.

Fogel, a former director-general of the Finance Ministry, had been on a short list of names IDB’s bondholders had submitted to the court last summer.

Control of IDB is being transferred to Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain and his Israeli partner Moti Ben-Moshe after the court this week approved their debt settlement that was widely backed by creditors.

Fogel would succeed Nochi Dankner, once one of Israel’s most powerful businessmen.

IDB is one of 10 large business groups that control about 30 percent of the market value of Israel’s public companies.

IDB controls Cellcom, Israel’s biggest mobile phone operator, and leading supermarket chain Super-Sol, Clal Insurance and many other companies.

IDB Holding, which is at the top of the pyramid-style conglomerate, owes bondholders 2 billion Israeli shekels ($570 million) and its subsidiary IDB Development owes a further 5.8 billion. Once bondholders get their money, expected this month, IDB Holding will cease to exist.

$1 = 3.5080 Israeli shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer

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