Harel to Pay Up for Tamar Stake
A limited partnership, led by Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services, said in a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that it has concluded a deal to purchase 3% shareholding in Tamar Partnership from Noble Energy. Harel holds a 62% stake in the limited partnership directly and the rest, 38%, is held by Israel Infrastructure Fund of which Harel is a 30% shareholder.
Harel said it will pay $369mn for the 3%; and another $123mn if it exercises an option to purchase another 1%. Those numbers value Tamar at $12.3bn, more than 10% above previous evaluations.
The agreement stipulates that in case that export agreement from Tamar to Egypt or through Egypt will be signed Noble would be entitled to certain fees from those transactions for a certain period and up to a fixed ceiling. Another article states that in case Noble will sell other slices from Tamar for lower valuation Harel would be indemnified. Once the deal has regulatory approval Harel will finance it from saving and pensions funds it manages.
News of Harel's plan to purchase the stake caused an uproar among opponents of the gas monopoly. They claim that the purchase will further consolidate it in the Israeli market as another influential institutional investor with strong ties and a lot of influence with the top echelons of government. This could make the government reluctant to lower the gas price or to limit the monopoly's activities.