Leo Noe: I bought Shufersal shares before deal
Two days before finalizing Shufersal sale to British businessman, Barclays Bank acquired on his behalf stock worth about NIS 10 million, which drove share price sky high. Noe's attorneys: Our client purchased shares before negotiations over control began
Neo acquired the stock through Barclays Bank on October 10, and at the same day, the share rocketed 7.11%. A couple of days later, on October 12 at 5 am, a non-binding memorandum of agreement was signed for the sale of Discount Investments' stake in Shufersal (46%) to Leo Noe, Matthew Bronfman and Shulam Fisher's group – a deal valuated at NIS 2.4 billion ($660 million) of which Noe paid NIS 1.7 billion ($470 million).
The exact portion of shares acquired by Barclays on behalf of Noe is yet unknown; however, estimates on the market are that some 0.3% of Shufersal was purchased. Shufersal's market cap was NIS 3.5 billion ($960 million) making Noe's pre-deal purchase worth about NIS 10.5 million ($2.89 million).
In the preliminary stages of the acquisition, Barclays Bank offered to acquire Shufersal's stock from the owner of the company's controlling interest Discount Investments but was however turned down.
Barclays then purchased Shufersal stock from two institutional bodies on the stock exchange which drove the share price up and generated a NIS 21.7 million ($6 million) turnover for the share – about 0.6% of the company's stock – as compared with an average turnover of NIS 1.8 million ($500,000).
Calcalist has learned that the client for whom Barclays Bank acquired the stock is a foreign company owed by Leo Noe and his sons. Such an acquisition per se would usually not draw attention and it may be assumed that businessmen who regularly handle billions buy and sell millions in stock on a regular basis.
However, when such a purchase drives the share price to the sky and two days later it is found that the company's controlling interest changed hands at a higher price than the company’s market cap – it only stands to reason that someone will begin to ask questions.
Information obtained by Calcalist indicates that over the weekend, Noe, by his own volition and probably due to the publications in Calcalist, sent a letter through his attorneys to the Israel Securities Authority in which they informed ISA that the Noe family had performed – through London brokers – a series of stock acquisitions the last of which was on October 10.
Noe's attorneys wrote that "the acquisitions were performed before the beginning of the negotiations with IDB which began the next day and before the due diligence, which began only after the agreement was signed two days later. Our client performed the acquisition on the basis of information that was available to the public, no more."
ISA said in response that "the Authority follows every movement on the market, especially those which are unusual."
Click here to read this report in Hebrew
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook