20 Year-Old Yeshiva Student In Negotiations to Buy Struggling El Al Airlines

Kenny (Naftali) Rozenberg, a US-based businessman who founded the Center HealthCare nursing home chain. His son Eli, 20, a yeshiva student ,is seeking to purchase the now nationalized El Al Airlines. (Photo: Centers Health Care)

Edited by: JV Staff
It has now been revealed that the investor who is seeking to buy the recently nationalized El Al Israel Airlines is Eli Rozenberg, 20, son of Kenny (Naftali) Rozenberg, a US-based businessman who founded the Center HealthCare nursing home chain. “Globes” revealed last Wednesday that Rozenberg (then unnamed) had approached the Government Companies Authority and expressed interest in acquiring the airline, according to a Globes report.
According to a Yeshiva World News report, two weeks ago, news reports stated that an anonymous source appointed accountant Ram Amaniach to explore the possibility of acquiring El Al and requested not to reveal his identity at the first stage.
Rosenberg is an American with Israeli citizenship, according to an INN report, and is a student in a national religious yeshiva. INN reported that he is managing the contacts on behalf of his family’s business. His father, Naftali, is a businessman who oversees many real estate sites in the US, including several hotels.
Naftali is reportedly behind the attempt to acquire Israel’s national airline, but cannot do so himself as he is not an Israeli citizen, as was reported by INN. As was reported by YWN, Eli’s father is also a trained Hatzolah paramedic and is often found responding to medical emergencies in the middle of the night. Additionally, he is one of the owners of Senior Care EMS, one of the largest private ambulance companies in NYC
The negotiations are far from concluded as the government continues efforts to rescue El Al from the financial crisis it has faced during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the INN report.
El Al is scheduled to receive a $250 million loan on a 75% state guarantee, along with an additional $150 million in equity. The State has also promised to purchase the shares in the company which the public does not buy and could thereby become the majority shareholder in El Al, as was reported by INN.
Globes reported that Rozenberg is currently in talks with El Al parent company Knafaim. The talks are apparently focused on El Al’s ability to meet the conditions for receiving state aid.
Meanwhile, El Al is making progress towards receiving aid, as was reported by Globes. El Al representatives held meetings with officials at the Israeli Ministry of Finance on Sunday, according to the Globes report. Globes reported that in a letter to El Al employees, company CEO Gonen Usishkin said, “It is clear that the state is committed to helping El Al on condition that El Al takes steps to help itself. This means implementing the program presented to the Ministry of Finance precisely and according to the stages set out.”
The program involves substantial downsizing, with about a third of the workforce to be laid off.
Globes reported that El Al’s board of directors has already decided to accept the state’s proposal and to begin the process of an equity offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in which the state will buy the shares if the public does not take them up, meaning in effect nationalization of the airline.
El Al’s management has signed agreements on streamlining measures with three of the four sectors of its workforce unionized within the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel): the cabin staff, the administrative employees, and the technical staff, together numbering some 5,500 employees. The agreements will save El Al about $120 million annually, through layoffs and pay cuts. The airline still has to reach agreement with its 650 pilots. (Globes, YWN & INN) Read more at: en.globes.co.il

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