UAE wealth fund ADQ leads consortium to buy into Israel’s Phoenix
Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Co, or ADQ, is leading a consortium of investors that are set to acquire a controlling stake in Israel’s Phoenix Insurance Co in a deal that values the insurer around $2.7 billion.
The consortium led by the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is buying the stake from US-based private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and Gallatin Point Capital, which together hold 33.4% of the Israeli firm. They could sell anywhere between 24-30% stake in the Israeli insurer.
Of these, ADQ will acquire a 25% stake from Centerbridge, a news report said.
Israeli media reported that as part of the deal, Phoenix executives, led by CEO Eyal Ben Simon and chairman Benny Gabbay, will purchase a 2% stake in the company, while committing to remain at the company for the next five years. Gallatin Point Capital will retain a 6% stake in Phoenix.
The transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals, which will include a control permit from Israel’s Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority, Centerbridge and Gallatin said in the statement.
The insurance company, which is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, has a public float of 58%.
One of the biggest insurance companies in Israel, Phoenix provides multi-line insurance, asset management, investment and financial services.
The deal comes two years after the UAE and Israel normalised relations under the so-called ‘Abraham Accords’, which were also signed by Bahrain. These deals normalise relations between Israel and the Gulf states which had earlier not had any formal dealings with each other.
ADQ’s venture capital arm DisruptAD, along with a fund managed by US-French private equity firm L Catterton, in July led a $105 million investment round in Israel’s Aleph Farms, a lab-grown meat startup.