Argentina’s IRSA Paves Way to Invest in Israel’s IDB Via Dolphin

IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones SA, Argentina’s largest publicly traded real estate company, prepared to bid for a controlling stake in Israel’s IDB Holding Corp. through an investment in Bermuda-based Dolphin Fund Ltd.

IRSA paid $75 million for shares in Dolphin, which is analyzing the possibility of investing as much as $200 million in IDB Holding, according to regulatory filings. Argentine businessman Eduardo Elsztain is chairman of both IRSA and Dolphin.

Dolphin will use the cash to acquire a stake in IDB, a holding company run by Isaeli businessman Nochi Dankner, which has interests in real estate, energy, insurance, banking and telecommunications. IDB has about 2 billion shekels ($558 million) of debt outstanding. Elsztain said he would make the investment through Dolphin in a June 7 letter filed with the Tel Aviv stock exchange.

“Along with two investors, Dolphin is analyzing an investment of as much as $200 million in IDB Holding Corporation Ltd,” IRSA said in a filing to Argentina’s securities regulator today. “In the event of proceeding with the investment, Dolphin will have political rights to appoint IDBH directors.”

Sergio Dattilo, an IRSA spokesman, said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires that Dolphin is working to acquire a stake in IDB, and IRSA will manage Dolphin.

IRSA’s American Depositary Receipts rallied 6.5 percent in New York, the most since Jan. 22, to $8.01 a share.

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