December 25, 2017 / 2:08 PM / 3 months ago

Real estate mogul Saidoff offers to buy Israel's Eurocom: source

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S.-Israeli businessman Naty Saidoff has offered to buy holding group Eurocom, which controls Bezeq Israel Telecom (BEZQ.TA), a source said on Monday, confirming media reports, though any deal would need approval of banks owed money by Eurocom.

Eurocom’s chairman, Shaul Elovitch, who is being investigated by Israeli authorities for possible fraud and financial reporting offences, is under pressure to sell Eurocom, which is laden with nearly 1 billion shekels ($290 million) in debt. Elovitch has denied any wrongdoing.

Eurocom’s holdings include a controlling 26 percent stake in Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms group, and satellite operator Spacecom (SCC.TA).

Saidoff, a real estate mogul who founded California-based Capital Foresight, has put in a bid to take over Eurocom, according a source familiar with the matter, who gave no further details.

One Eurocom official confirmed that an offer had been made for the company but declined to say by whom or to offer further details.

Multiple Israeli financial news outlets reported that the offer includes Saidoff injecting 350-400 million shekels into Eurocom and the banks agreeing to forgive 400 million shekels of debt.

Bank Hapoalim (POLI.TA) and Israel Discount (DSCT.TA) which are among those owed money by Eurocom declined to comment on the report.

    Bezeq said on Sunday a court has allowed it to join the group of banks that are petitioning to break up and liquidate Eurocom in the hopes of recovering 119 million shekels. [nL8N1OO07N]

    The court is due to discuss the case later in the day.

    ($1 = 3.4811 shekels)

    Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Tova Cohen; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Hugh Lawson

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