Israel's flag carrier El Al welcomed its new owner on Thursday, as 27-year-old New York-born yeshiva student Eli Rozenberg placed the only bid at a share offering at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Rozenberg's company, Kanfei Nesharim (Wings of an Eagle), bought a controlling 42.85 percent stake in the struggling airline with a $150 million offer.
"The state, which had committed to buying any unwanted shares as part of a rescue package, bought some $30 million worth of shares for a stake that could equal between 12 and 15 percent of the company," according to The Times of Israel.
In June, the Finance Ministry formulated a NIS 1.4 billion ($400 million) rescue package, in which the government agreed to back loans for a total of $250 million with a guarantee for 75 percent of the loan in case of defaults.
Three prospective buyers - including Rozenberg - were in the running to purchase the embattled airline. The other two, David Sapir, a Russian-Israeli tourism and telecommunications mogul and Meir Gurvitz, a British-Israeli real estate multi-millionaire did not make any bids Wednesday.
It is thought that El Al's new management will put a premium on "punctuality" and work to upgrade food services across all classes.
El Al, alongside dozens of airlines worldwide, found itself struggling to survive due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent travel bans.
The Israeli airline was forced to send more than 90 percent of its workforce out on unpaid leave and the company released horrific financial statements in the first and second quarters of 2020.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.