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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Are Cracks Showing Between Eduardo Elsztain and Moti Ben-Moshe?

Will the business partnership between the new controlling shareholders at IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. Eduardo Elsztain and Moti Ben-Moshe, stand the test of time? Quite a bit has been written about the differences in the two men's personalities, as well as their different approaches to business.
While Ben-Moshe is more extroverted before the media, Elsztain is introverted. This was seen at the press conference Ben-Moshe held following the court decision to transfer control of IDB, where he alleged that he was a target for extortion by aides of Nochi Dankner. Elzstain's aides left the room, apparently because of reservations about Ben-Moshe's remarks. 

Sources inform ''Globes'' that the friction between Elsztain and Ben-Moshe is continuing, and may have escalated.

Last Thursday, following a meeting at the offices of Menorah Mivtachim Holdings Ltd. To discuss the terms of a loan by the insurance company to IDB, an argument broke out between Ben-Moshe and Elsztain. The issue was a loan given to IDB Development in April 2012, the outstanding balance of which is NIS 150 million.

Another disagreement broke out a few days earlier over the appointment of IDB Development chairman Aharon Fogel as chairman of its subsidiary, Discount Investment Corporation. Ben-Moshe urged the appointment, but Elzstain opposed it. They ultimately decided to appoint Fogel as a director on Discount Investment's board, at least for now.

Sources close to Elsztain and Ben-Moshe told "Globes" that the tense atmosphere is exacerbated by Dankner's investigation into Ben-Moshe's businesses. 

Last week, Dankner filed a motion with the court that included additional findings about Ben-Moshe, including a probe by the German energy regulator into ExtraEnergie GmbH, owned by Ben-Moshe.

Ben-Moshe and Elsztain said in response, "We are happy with the partnership, and succeeding in working together to meet all the challenges. We do not respond to rumors."

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